Spent fuel storage ship gets secured

Publish date: September 22, 1999

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

A new physical protection system has been installed onboard a Russian Navy's Malina class service vessel in Severodvinsk.

The new system onboard the Malina class service vessel, PM-63, was installed as a part of the U.S.-Russian co-operation for nuclear material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A). The program was designed to prevent the proliferation of materials that can be used to create weapons of mass destruction. PM-63 has a capacity to store 1400 spent fuel assemblies, derived from submarine reactors. It has also room to accommodate two sets of fresh nuclear fuel (around 480 fuel assemblies).

PM-63 is the first of the three Malina class service vessels in the Russian Navy to receive MPC&A upgrades with technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy. The two others are PM-74, based in the Pacific fleet, and PM-12, stationed at Nerpa shipyard at the Kola Peninsula.

In the civilian sector, MPC&A have already installed the same physical protection equipment onboard the service vessel Imandra. The vessel holds fresh fuel for nuclear powered icebreakers that have their home base at Atomflot, outskirts of Murmansk.