First contract on rehabilitation project in Gremikha base signed

Publish date: November 23, 2005

The first contract in the frames of the grant agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the environmental rehabilitation of the former Northern Fleet base Gremikha on the Kola Peninsula has been signed in Moscow in October.

Deputy director of SevRAO radioactive waste department Vladimir Khandobin said the first contract concerns the storage conditions for the reactor core recently unloaded from the Alfa-class submarine. Liquid metal was used to cool the reactors on such submarines, therefore the unloading operation requires special conditions. The last similar unloading operation was carried out in Russia back in 1991, Interfax reported.

SevRAO is expecting the documents from the EBRD on the fourth reactor concerning the physical protection of the onshore base. The second and the third contracts concerning shipment of the spent nuclear fuel and radwaste from the base, are more complicated as the foreign participating companies are obliged to pay Russian taxes according to the current Russian legislation. Khandobin, however, said they hope to find a solution.

Gremikha (Iokanga) naval base is the second onshore storage site at the Kola Peninsula for spent nuclear fuel and radwaste from submarines. The base is the easternmost Northern Fleet base at the Kola Peninsula, located some 350 kilometers east of the mouth of the Murmansk fjord. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development set Gremikha as priority project in the program of environmental rehabilitation reported Interfax.