The Russian-Norwegian co-operation is important for the management of the Barents Sea. The co-operation have contributed and contributes to an increase in the common understanding of the pollution situation in the northern areas, strengthens the collaboration regarding control, monitoring and prevention of pollution (releases and inputs of pollutants to the environment and waste handling).
The Russian-Norwegian cooperation in the sphere of environmental protection was established in the 1990’s. To ensure nuclear safety and radiation protection in the north, a joint Norwegian-Russian Expert Group was established in 1992 under the Joint Norwegian-Russian Commission on Environmental Protection (Hønneland and Rowe, 2008; Rus.-Nor. Coop., 2007). Moreover, to strengthen the co-operation between Norway and Russia in the nuclear safety field, the Norwegian government’s Nuclear Action Plan was initiated in 1995 and revised in 2008. For its execution the NRPA serves as the directorate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Nuclear Action Plan must contribute to reduce the risk of accidents and pollution from nuclear installations in Northwest Russia and prevent radioactive and fissile material from going astray. It is the most important management tool of the Norwegian authorities in their nuclear safety work with Russia (Action plan, 2009). Nuclear safety co-operation is built on several bilateral collaboration agreements (Rus.-norw.coop., 2007, www.barentsportal.no). The NRPA closely collaborates with a number of Russian governmental agencies and supervisory authorities in the area of nuclear safety, radiation protection, preparedness and environmental monitoring.