Year’s third nuclear train from the Pacific risks blockade by miners

Publish date: July 30, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The special transport train laden with maritime spent nuclear fuel may get stuck on its way to the Mayak reprocessing plant if protesting miners refuse to lift their railway blockade. The train is currently loading Pacific Fleet submarine spent nuclear fuel.

"Blockading of railways presents a threat to nuclear and radiation safety in Russia", Chelyabinsk-based news agencies quoted Aleksandr Suslov, the acting manager of the Mayak reprocessing plant. Suslov said the special train carrying TK-18 containers with maritime spent nuclear fuel is due to arrive at Mayak. The train is currently loaded with submarine spent fuel from the Pacific Fleet. All the railways leading to Mayak are blocked by protesting miners. If the blockade is not lifted shortly the train will get stuck somewhere in Chelyabinsk county.

Two weeks ago a train reportedly laden with uranium on its way to the Siberian Chemical Combine in Tomsk County was blocked by miners as well.

Year’s third nuclear train
The train, which is due to arriving at Mayak reprocessing plant, is the third shipment of spent nuclear fuel from maritime reactors this year. The first train left Murmansk on January 30, carrying spent fuel from atomic ice breakers and nuclear-powered submarines. The second spent fuel shipment was performed from Severodvinsk in Arkhangelsk County in early April.