The bilateral agreement was signed by Russia and France on October 6th, 2003. The project-, entitled Complex Decommissioning of the Technical Support Ship Lepse, envisions a process of unloading spent nuclear fuel from the storage ship Lepse, in the far northern Russian city of Murmansk. Phase 1A of the project includes development of technical guidelines for spent nuclear fuel extraction, a feasibility study and a basic report. These will be carried out jointly by the French company SGN and Russian scientific research and design organisations. The financial corporation NEFCO and the FFEM Foundation will finance the project in accordance with prior agreements. The costs of Phase 1A are estimated at €650,000, while its implementation will take six months. On the Russian part, the agreement to launch the project was signed by the Ministry of Atomic Energy, the State Duma, the Murmansk Shipping Company, and the nuclear icebreakers service base Atomflot. The French side was represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the French Embassy in Russia, and the SGN company.