Submarine decommissioning plans for 2000 are taking shape

A delegation from American Co-operative Threat Reduction program (CTR) was touring Murmansk and Arkhangelsk counties in early February to assure that the submarine decommissioning contracts go smoothly. All in all, the U.S. will fund scrapping of ten strategic nuclear powered submarines at the shipyards in north-west Russian and in the Russian Far East in 2000.

This year, Nerpa shipyard at the Kola Peninsula is on contract with CTR to decommission three Delta-class nuclear powered submarines, four nuclear powered submarines will be scrapped at shipyards in Severodvinsk in Arkhangelsk County, while the rest three will be decommissioned at Zvezda shipyard in the Russian Far East. Zvezda shipyard is also counting on getting its share from the bulk of $120 million promised recently by Japan as an aid package for the safe dismantlement of the Pacific Fleet’s nuclear submarines.

CTR was established in 1991 by the Department of Defence to help reduce formerly Soviet weapons of mass destruction. Since 1991, Congress has provided $2.3 billion to support CTR’s efforts. The naval part of CTR had originally funding to decommission 31 Russian ballistic missile submarines.

Severodvinsk shipyards to start on Oscars
Zvezdochka shipyard transferred five reactor sections to Belomorskaya naval base in Severodvinsk in 1999. The sections will be further shipped to the Kola Peninsula and placed at the storage site in Saida Bay, where the Northern Fleet keeps afloat the reactor sections from all the scrapped subs. The reactor sections were cut out from two Yankees (K-32 and K-418), two Delta-I class submarines (K-475 and K-472) and one Delta-II class submarine (K-193).

The other naval shipyard located in Severodvinsk – Sevmash – carried out decommissioning of one Yankee-class submarine (K-214) for the first time. Until recently, Sevmash had been mostly engaged in decommissioning of Alfa-class submarines with titanium hull.

This year Sevmash will also start on decommissioning of two Oscar-I class cruise missile submarines. The reports about the intentions to scrap two Oscars (K-525 and K-206) were circulating back in 1998. Today, the plans seem to have materialised, as, according to the Russian news agencies, CTR has agreed to fund decommissioning of these two submarines. One of the Typhoon class submarines (TK-202) is being currently decommissioned at Sevmash shipyard as well.