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Russia, Norway join efforts to eliminate spent nuclear fuel

May 20, 2014, 16:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The facility was established fifty years ago for maintenance of nuclear units in the Northern Fleet’s submarines and long-term storage of radioactive waste
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© ITAR-TASS/Ilya Yakovlev

MOSCOW, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian radioactive waste facility SevRao and the Norwegian county Finnmark on the border with the Murmansk Region, Russia, have agreed to cooperate on the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) in the Andreeva Bay in the Barents Sea.

The facility was established fifty years ago for maintenance of nuclear units in the Northern Fleet’s submarines and long-term storage of radioactive waste. After an accident in 1982, the Russian Defense Ministry decided to reconstruct the facilities located in the bay, but the project was not completed amid the changing political situation in the country. The works were resumed in the late 1990s with participation of foreign partners.

The present agreement has been signed in the town of Vadsø by the SNF facility’s acting director Valery Panteleev and Finnmark’s governor Gunnar Kjønnøy. The four contracts amounted to a total of 104 million rubles (about $3 million), the Russian company’s press office reported on Tuesday. The removal of SNF is expected to start in 2016.

Russia has also been actively cooperating on the project with the UK, Italy, Sweden, the European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development since 2001. This year the construction of infrastructure will be completed.

The international cooperation speeded up normalization of the radiation situation at the facility, considerably improved the environmental conditions and eliminated sources of pollution, said the press office.

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