Fieldwork in St. Petersburg and Sosnovy Bor, Russia

April 23-29, 2017 Andrei Stsiapanau, the project research fellow, went on field work in St. Petersburg and Sosnovy Bor to conduct interviews with participants and key actors of the discussions over the construction of the radioactive waste depository. Russian corporation «Rosatom» considers to build a radioactive waste underground depository on the shore of the Gulf of Finland which extends between Russia, Finland and Estonia. The planned location is the city of Sosnovy Bor, with 67 thousand of population, 40 kilometers away from St. Petersburg, near the Leningrad nuclear power plant. Sosnovy Bor became a nuclear city in 1973, when the first unit of the Leningrad nuclear power plant was launched. The start of the first unit of the new Leningrad nuclear plant, which will replace the old RBMK reactors, is scheduled for 2017. In addition, within the city three nuclear sites – Research Institute, which is now testing the ship’s nuclear power plants, the melting plant of radioactive metals “Ecomet-S” and the radioactive waste repository of the Russian North-West region are located.

During the visit April 26 to the Sosnovy Bor Andrei Stsiapanau attended the Chernobyl disaster commemorative meeting and ceremony with the participation of the former liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster consequences, of the Leningrad NPP and Sosnovy Bor city administrations.  The same day at the Center for Independent Social Research in Saint-Petersburg Andrei Stsiapanau gave a talk in which he shared with the public his thoughts about very different representations about Chernobyl disaster in political discourses in Belarus and Russia.