Used submarine fuel to be removed from Russia’s Arctic bases

5 July 2016

Work to remove used nuclear fuel from Gremikha, a former Soviet submarine base in the Arctic northwest, is expected to last until 2027, the director of Russian waste managemnent company SevRAO (part of RosRAO) Valery Panteleyev said. On 30 June removal of the fourth decommissioned submarine reactor was removed from the base. He said future work would include the removal of the six other reactors, as well as another one that will be delivered to Gremikha in 2017, and two from the K-27 submarine which sank in Novaya Zemlya in 1982. The plan is to also all solid, liquid, radioactive waste, and, if possible rehabilitate the site and close it. It will be brought to a brown field condition and monitored for several more decades. Panteleyev does not think it can be restored to a green field state. "It will cost a lot of money, and I think, it is unlikely to succeed," he said.

On 15 June the specially designed ship Rossita (constructed in Italy) delivered eight containers to transport components from reactors of alpha class decommissioned nuclear submarines. The containers were made by Italian company Madzheroti. Following certification of the containers, they will be prepared for long-term storage of components that have already been analyzed in Gremikha. Ultimately they will be sent to storage in Saida Bay. A consignment of containers was collected from Italy by Rossita, which will also deliver some to Andreeva Bay where they will be used to take fuel from the dry storage units there.

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