Commander of Zapadnaya Litsa submarine base: Navy must not be responsible for radwaste handling

Michael Motsak, the commander of the nuclear submarine naval base Zapadnaya Litsa on the Kola peninsula, believes the Navy must not be held responsible for the handling of spent nuclear fuel and radwaste. Instead, the commander has proposed to the Murmansk county administration to create a state enterprise under the Technical Department of the Navy or the Ministry for Atomic Energy (Minatom).

So far, the reaction of Yuriy Jevdokimov, the governor of Murmansk county, was positive. Jevdokimov stated that such an enterprise could also coordinate the international projects aimed at improving nuclear safety in the north-west of Russia. Funding for the enterprise must come directly from the federal budget, Jevdokimov believes. The governor also thinks that the enterprise should answer to the county authorities.

Zapadnaya Litsa is the largest and most important submarine base of the Northern Fleet. It is located on the westernmost point of the Kola Peninsula, about 45 kilometers from the Norwegian border. The Northern Fleet’s largest and only operational storage facility for spent nuclear fuel is located there in Andreeva Bay, making the commander of the base especially aware and concerned of the nuclear safety problems in the region.