France to finance decontamination stations in Gremikha

Publish date: February 28, 2005

France will finance construction and delivery of the mobile decontamination stations for the former navy spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Gremikha base on the Kola Peninsula.

Decontamination stations will be constructed at the Severny Raid company in Severodvinsk. This company delivered such stations before to the former spent nuclear fuel facility in Andreyeva bay on the Kola Peninsula.

The mobile decontamination station is a 40-feet 10-tonns shipping container. It can accommodate 10 people at a time and is used for radiation control and decontamination of the personnel engaged in operations with the radioactive waste. The equipment for the stations will be delivered from France. At the next stage of the Gremikha rehabilitation project the specialists of the Kurchatov Institute will conduct a detailed radiation examination of the site.

The France takes part in the project in the frames of the agreement signed by France, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, and TACIS program. The strategic master plan on the submarine dismantling presented by the EBRD stipulates funding of the nine first-priority projects in 2005, five of them are in Gremikha, and the France is the main ideological partner, Interfax reported.

Gremikha is the second land storage facility of the Northern fleet and is the biggest site for the laid-up nuclear submarines, mostly first generation. The base is situated approximately 350km from the Murmansk harbour and cannot be reached by land transport. The connection is only by sea or air. The base is accommodating 800 rods with spent nuclear fuel and six active zones from the reactors with liquid coolant of Alfa class submarines, project 705. Besides, 19 submarines and 38 reactors with unloaded spent nuclear fuel are also stored at the site. In 2001, the navy on-shore facilities in Gremikha and Andreyeva bay were handed over to the ”Northern Federal Company on handling with radioactive waste”, or SevRAO, which was established by Russia to create infrastructure on nuclear submarines dismantling, handling of the nuclear spent fuel and radioactive waste, rehabilitation of the nuclear sites in the North of Russia, reported Interfax.