U.S.-Built Radwaste Facility Opens in Severodvinsk

An international team under prime contractor Lockheed Martin Environmental Technologies (LMET) announced it will commission a Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) Volume Reduction facility in Russia’s naval port of Severodvinsk next month. The ceremony on October 18 marks the completion of a contract awarded in August of 1998.

The contract for the design, fabrication, installation and certification of the facility was awarded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency under the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, also known as Nunn-Lugar. This program assists the Russian Federation in dismantling 31 ballistic missile submarines.

The Russian Federation is obligated under the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) to dismantle a large number of nuclear-powered submarines, thus creating significant volumes of both liquid and solid LLRW. In addition to a lack of treatment facilities, a severe shortage of storage space for LLWR exists in Russia. Consequently, Nunn-Lugar funded the construction of two LLRW treatment facilities, one at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, one at the Zvezda yard in the Far East. Both contracts were awarded to the LMET team, which includes the American companies Booz Allen & Hamilton and Kvaerner Process Services, Norway’s Kvaerner (now Moss) Maritime, France’s Cogema Technologies and Russia’s Aspect.

According to a program document, LMET is the only Western company to achieve Russian regulatory approval for a radwaste treatment facility in the Russian Federation.

The original contract value for the two facilities was $23.45 million, but due to changes in design and project scope, the contract expanded to $40 million, the company said.

The Zvezdochka facility is now undergoing operational testing; the Zvezda facility will be finished in 2001.