No more nuclear shipments in 1998

Publish date: December 18, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

Neither Murmansk nor Severodvinsk received long awaited trains to ship spent nuclear fuel to the Mayak plant for reprocessing this autumn. Only three trains laden with spent nuclear fuel made the trip in 1998.

Severodvinsk City Council submitted a proposal to upgrade its spent fuel transfer loading point to ensure further nuclear shipments to the Mayak plant in Siberia for reprocessing. In addition, the train tracks leading to the loading site require repairs, but funds are low. The proposals were forwarded to the Ministry for Atomic Energy, the Ministry of Economy, and the Defence Ministry. Severodvinsk, located in Arkhangel’sk County, hosts two shipyards that are heavily engaged in nuclear-powered submarines decommissioning.

So far this year, only three shipments of spent fuel to the Mayak reprocessing plant have been performed: one from Murmansk, one from Severodvinsk, and one from the Pacific Fleet. According to officials at Murmansk Shipping Company, responsible for both civilian and military fuel shipments from Murmansk, all planned fuel shipments have been postponed for an unspecified period of time due to the collapse in the banking system and the rouble plunge. Severodvinsk had plans to load a second train in December, but funding shortfalls forced the city to postpone the shipment.