Liquid radioactive waste at naval bases, shipyards, special tankers and nuclear support ships

Publish date: February 7, 2003

Liquid radioactive waste is generated during various operations on submarines and nuclear installations, as well as during the decommissioning of submarines. At present, around 10,000 m3 of waste have accumulated, including 300 m3 of high active waste originating from the Northern Fleet. The amount of radioactivity is around 256 Ci.

From 1993, the Northern Fleet officially declared a halt to the dumping of liquid radioactive waste into the seas. However, it remains an open question as to how to dispose of the liquid waste that continues to be generated given that all of the storage facilities for liquid waste are filled up.

Liquid radioactive waste is transferred to special tankers and nuclear support ships, as well as PE-50/PEK-50 type floating tanks. There are also onshore storage facilities at the bases and in the shipyards. Since 1994, the Northern Fleet has been delivering liquid waste to be processed at the treatment facility located in Atomflot nuclear powered icebreakers base. The facility has an annual capacity of 1,200 m3. This facility is due to be upgraded to treat up to 5,000 m3 of liquid waste annually, assuming that the ongoing international project to achieve this is completed. A facility for low active liquid waste was completed at Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk in 2000.