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Nuclear waste recycle center planned in Russian Far East

December 03, 2013, 17:18 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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VLADIVOSTOK, December 03. /ITAR-TASS/. A regional centre for conditioning and long-term storage of state corporation Rosatom’s nuclear waste is planned for construction in the Russian Far East’s Maritime Territory.

This will be intended for recycling and safety management but not for final storage of dangerous substances, deputy director for Rosatom nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel policy Alexander Abramov said in the port city of Vladivostok on Tuesday.The facility is due for completion by 2016.

The complex is designed for recycling nuclear waste accumulated in the region. This will then be transported to places of final isolation, often referred to as ‘burial grounds’. There were no plans to create places of final isolation in the Maritime Territory, Abramov added.

The region’s citizens would take part in discussions before the project began, Abramov pledged. “It will be only after the positive decision of public hearings that DalRAO, Rosatom’s affiliate, will obtain the licence for construction,” Abramov said.

A project procurement order published late in November caused an immediate reaction among the region’s ecologists, politicians and officials, voicing unanimous concern over the plans.

They say a centre for long-term waste storage would compromise regional investment and tourist appeal. Calls abound for full disclosure about the project and local control over its implementation.

The region has accumulated about 20,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste, mainly from scrapping of the navy's decommissioned nuclear submarines.

DalRao has a closed storage of decommissioned submarine nuclear reactors in the region. These are now conserved in metal shells awaiting further reprocessing 70 years into the future.

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