On December 2, three facilities relating to the infrastructure of nuclear waste storage created in the framework of international cooperation with the U.K. and Norway are commissioned in the Andreyeva Bay (Murmansk region).
RIA Novosti was told at a conference dedicated to the completion of the first stage of construction by the deputy head of the Federal Nuclear Power Agency (Rosenergoatom), Sergei Antipov, a roof has been built over one of three reservoirs where spent nuclear fuel is stored.
“With time water started to penetrate into the reservoir, which caused the necessity to construct such a cover. Now the reservoir with spent nuclear fuel is properly protected from outside effects. Further on, we can talk about extracting the fuel and disposing of it,” said Mr. Antipov. In his words, the cover is a low steel roof with ventilation and filtration devices.
The second project implemented with the help of the British side – two mobile sanitary inspection rooms for 10 personnel each, equipped with individual protection and radiation-monitoring equipment, lab devices and a vehicle decontamination unit. The total cost of facilities financed by the British side is 30 million rubles ($1,068,000).
The third infrastructure facility commissioned was a locker room for 100 people, equipped with special devices monitoring the level of personnel exposure to radiation. “The facility was built with participation of the Norwegian government, which allocated 1,300,000 Norwegian krones (some $220,000) for this,” Rosenergoatom representative Anatoly Grigoryev told RIA Novosti.
Thus, he said, the first stage of creating infrastructure for the nuclear waste storage facility has been completed in the Andreyeva Bay.
The Andreyeva Bay is Europe’s largest radioactive waste storage site. Besides spent nuclear fuel, the Andreyeva Bay contains over 10,000 tons of solid radioactive waste and some 600 cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste. There total radiation activity is comparable to radiation emission during the Chernobyl disaster.
The storage facility in the Andreyeva Bay was created some 40 years ago on the shore of the Motovsky Gulf as a temporary storage site and was supervised by the Defense Ministry. In 2000, it was handed over to the SevRAO state enterprise (department of Rosenergoatom). The creation of storage facility infrastructure, which would make it possible to finally start withdrawing radioactive waste from the Andreyeva Bay, was started after 2000 with participation of foreign partners. Now 12 projects with Norway, the U.K. and Sweden participating, are going on at the site, RIA-Novosti reported.