Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Research institute silent on what nuclear materials it has

naviny.by

Representatives of Sosny refused on Wednesday to tell environmentalists what nuclear materials are kept in the research institute some 10 kilometers south of Minsk.

The matter was brought up during a discussion on the environmental safety of a project to move nuclear materials stored at Sosny from one building to another, Uladzimir Valodzin, a member of the Belarusian Party of the Greens, told BelaPAN. The US government bears nearly the full cost of the project.

Sosny managers sidestepped questions about what materials are stored in the facility. "We learned from hints dropped by them that highly enriched uranium is kept there," Mr. Valodzin said.

He added that the uranium in question was not spent fuel but unused material stored in the facility since the Soviet era.

Environmentalists used the occasion to urge the nuclear research institute to make its operations more transparent.

According to Mr. Valodzin, much of the research done by the institute deals with the construction of Belarus' first-ever nuclear power plant in the Hrodna region. "Environmental groups believe that such activity should be stopped and nuclear materials should not be used," the activist said.