Russia’s Murmansk Shipping Company says it hopes “to actively engage in work on resolving problems of nuclear and radiation security in the Arctic regions of Europe.” This includes programmes of ecological security in Andreyev Bay, where one of the largest Russian Northern Fleet’s storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste from nuclear submarines is located. The Northern Fleet’s coastal maintenance base is also situated there, 5km from the town of Zaozersk.
Some 21,000 spent fuel rods and 12,000 cubic metres of solid and liquid radioactive wastes are stored in Andreyev Bay, where about 90 reactor cores are being held. Each core contains some 50kg of uranium-235 from a first generation decommissioned nuclear submarine, 70kg from a second generation vessel and 115kg from a third generation sub. The total amount of uranium in cores of second and third generation subs is 300-350kg.
Company experts also expect foreign spent fuel to be imported into Russia by sea through Murmansk and such operations are usually carried out by Atomflot. Alexander Sinyaev, Atomflot’s director, hopes the company can pick up this business.