Norway and Sweden are prepared to finance the processing and burial of spent fuel from Russia’s Northern Fleet under a a protocol of intent signed on 27 January. The Mayak Production Association will process and place the spent nuclear fuel in a repository. The protocol was signed by Mayak and a commission set up by the Norwegian government, Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, and British and French reprocessing companies which will act as experts on financing and may also supply some of the equipment. Further talks on financial and technical matters will take place in Stockholm on 3-5 March.
Mayak can handle up to 400 t of spent fuel a year. In 1997 it received 200 t but was able to process only 100 t because cash shortages stopped it from buying essential chemicals.