MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Dismantling work has begun at the last Soviet base near the town of Gulbene in northeast Latvia that once accommodated missiles with nuclear warheads, Demontaza.lv, the work’s contractor, told TASS.
"All the dismantling works will take about six months, as a result of which level-ground will remain at the place of 32-meter-deep silos," Company Director Martins Malnieks said.
The compound Dvina R-12 comprises four siloes and an underground command center. The dismantling works will amount to 189,900 euros. The compound will be dismantled on order from the Latvian Defense Ministry.
The ex-Soviet base has not been used for military purposes since 1982 and has been an abandoned territory lately, Malnieks said.
"There is no radiation background there: we have done the measurements," he said.
Although Demontaza.lv has been engaged in the work to dismantle various buildings for more than 10 years, it is dealing with missile siloes for the first time, the company’s director said.
"The concrete there is stronger than the concrete of usual facilities we dismantled. However, we have extensive experience of carrying out such works. For example, we were engaged in pulling down residential quarters in Riga," he said.
Technically, the concrete inside the siloes will be broken by hydraulic hammers and scissors and taken away for its reprocessing into break-stone, he said.
This is the last of 12 nuclear missile bases on the republic’s territory that has not been dismantled until now, he said.