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Russia and Norway team up to clean Arctic of nuclear waste

March 30, 2017, 16:10 UTC+3 ARKHANGELSK

The naval base in Andreeva Bay was set up in the early 1960s to provide maintenance services for nuclear reactors of Northern Fleet submarines

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© Geological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences press service/TASS

ARKHANGELSK, March 30. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA) plans joint efforts with the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority to withdraw all nuclear waste from Andreeva Bay in the Arctic by 2020, FMBA Head Vladimir Uiba said on the sidelines of an international Arctic forum on Thursday.

"I believe that we will withdraw all nuclear waste from there in about three years. This is a plan of international cooperation," Uiba said.

The FMBA head noted at the forum’s healthcare workshop that the agency was working quite actively and effectively with the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority.

The naval base in Andreeva Bay was set up in the early 1960s to provide maintenance services for nuclear reactors of Northern Fleet submarines. The coastal maintenance facility also stored radioactive waste of nuclear submarines, surface ships with nuclear propulsion units and nuclear submarines’ support vessels.

From 1993, the operation of the coastal maintenance facility for the acceptance of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste was terminated.

After an accident at the nuclear waste storage facility in 1982, the Defense Ministry made a decision on upgrading all the facilities of Andreeva Bay. However, the project was not implemented in full due to a change in the social and political situation in the country.

Works in Andreeva Bay resumed in the late 1990s thanks to the financing by Norwegian partners. International cooperation helped considerably increase the pace of work for normalizing the radiation situation at the facility.

The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue forum is a key venue for discussing the problems and the prospects of the Arctic region. The forum is designed to bring together the efforts of the international community for the Arctic’s effective development.

The participants in the forum that has been held since 2010 discuss raising living standards on Arctic territories, developing the transport system and dealing with environmental issues.

The fourth international Arctic - Territory of Dialog forum that opened in Arkhangelsk on March 29 is being attended by 1,500 participants from Russia and other countries. TASS is the forum’s general information partner and official photo-hosting agency.

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