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Russia: Canadians Worry About Nuclear Waste

Ottawa, 23 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - A report issued in Canada this week says radioactive waste from Russian submarines and nuclear storage sites poses a major threat to the Canadian North and other parts of the Arctic.

The report was issued by Canada's Foreign Affairs Committee which is made up of members of Parliament from all parties.

Committee chairman William Graham told reporters in Ottawa yesterday that Russian subs which are no longer in use are what he called floating Chernobyls. He said there is evidence of leakage from Russian nuclear waste sites into the rivers that feed the Arctic Ocean.

The Committee calls on the Canadian government to help Russia clean up the waste by providing financial help or expertise. Most nuclear assistance that Canada has offered in the past has been concerned with safety improvements at nuclear reactor sites.

In Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy promised his department will respond to the Committee's recommendations soon.