Finnish processing facility to the Northern Fleet

The delivery is a result of negotiations held in the end of February this year, between representatives of the Finnish company "Ivo Power", Murmansk Shipping Company and the Northern Fleet. Reaching a principal agreement, the group signed a letter of intent on delivery of the specialised liquid radioactive waste mobile facility, dubbed "Nures", to the Northern Fleet. The processing facility will be transported to Aandreva Guba (Zapadnaya Lutsa) for a few months testing.

"Nures" successfully operated at the former Soviet Navy Paldiski training centre in Estland. During the last few months the facility processed 150 cubic meters of radioactive water at the base of nuclear-powered ice-breakers – "Atomflot" – in Murmansk. –An additional 150 cubic meters will be processed in the near future, says Murmansk Shipping Company spokesman Vladimir Blinov. The facility needs further testing in Andreeva Guba, because of the differences between radioactive wastes from Finnish nuclear power plants, nuclear ice-breakers and the nuclear-powered submarines.

Andreeva Guba hosts the only operational storage facility for used nuclear fuel in the Northern Fleet. Liquid radioactive waste is stored in five underground tanks in Andreeva Guba, each of which has a capacity of 400 cubic meters. Early in the 1960s, construction of an onshore radioactive water processing plant was launched. The plant was never put into operation. Currently the Northern Fleet is delivering some of its liquid radioactive waste to "Atomflot" for purification. "Atomflot" is operating an experimental onshore radioactive water processing facility which has an annual capacity of 1200 cubic meters. The total processing need of "Atomflot" and the Northern Fleet together is in the area of 5000 cubic meters anually.

Igor Kudrik

igor@bellona.no