Andreeva Bay: Defuelling and storage infrastructure

Publish date: February 6, 2003

The transportation of spent nuclear fuel from the storage sites in Andreeva Bay is a difficult process, complicated by the lack of a railway to the site.

The road from Murmansk to Andreeva Bay does not meet safety requirements and cannot be used for the transportation of spent nuclear fuel. Consequently, spent nuclear fuel has been shipped by sea. There is one stationary quay and two floating piers in Andreeva Bay.

The reinforced concrete floating pier PMK-67 was used to load and unload spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear service ships. If it should be ever be utilised again in the future, a new foundation will have to be constructed. The facility should provide safe access for transport to the pier. The stationary quay sits on reinforced concrete posts and can be utilised for loading spent nuclear fuel from trucks onto the nuclear service ships with the help of a crane. Usage of cranes on the nuclear service ships depends on the technical specifications of the cranes (payload capacity, crane arm’s length, etc) and of the nuclear service ships (vessel draught, etc). We estimate that only nuclear service ships of Project 2020 — Malina class are capable of loading spent nuclear fuel from the stationary moor plant. It may be that a new ship should be built to provide these kinds of services.

A port crane of KMP-40 class can be used for loading and unloading spent nuclear fuel from the concrete tanks and from the containers placed on the outdoor storage pad. This crane has an arm length of 30 meteres and a payload capacity of 40 tonnes. The crane is in working condition but it is uncertain that it meets safety requirements. The 40-tonne cranes can not accommodate loads greater than 35 tonnes, so the KMP-40 class port crane at Andreeva Bay cannot, for example, be used for 40-tonne containers. Besides, the use of the cranes can be restricted by weather conditions. The crane cannot be used when wind velocity exceeds 18 metres per second, yet this kind of weather condition is typical for this area throughout the wintertime.

The road from the concrete tanks in the dry storage area to the pier where the spent nuclear fuel assemblies are unloaded from the BeLAZ-540 trucks to the nuclear service ship is not safe and needs to be rebuilt. In particular, there is a steep turn on the way to the pier (at about 25 degrees). The BeLAZ-540 truck has a high centre of gravity which compromises its stability and hence fails to meet safety requirements. The centre of gravity becomes even higher when the vehicle is loaded with containers of spent nuclear fuel. Transporting spent nuclear fuel on the BeLAZ-540 truck utilising the road with a 25° steep turn is especially dangerous in winter. Furthermore, the truck’s technical state of repair is also unsatisfactory.