An international initiative to cleanse the polluted Barents Sea of nuclear waste has been launched, with E110 million being pledged by Russia, the European Commission (EC), Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The Barents clean-up will be the first priority project of this support fund of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership.

The sea, to the north of Russia and Norway, is commonly known as the largest repository of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste in the world.

Meanwhile, the partnership’s steering group, (the EC, Russia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Nordic Investment Bank, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank), has agreed on 12 projects to reduce pollution in north-west Russia, with nuclear waste management projects costing E500 million.