NF Decomm: CTR funding

Publish date: February 7, 2003

The Co-operative Threat Reduction programme, or CTR, became one of the major (and the only external) contributors to the decommissioning of Russian ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), which were taken out of service in compliance with the START-I arms reduction treaty (See chapter ‘Projects to secure nuclear waste’).

Starting in 1992 and proceeding until 1997, five submarines were dismantled in the Russian Navy utilising CTR equipment. After 1997, CTR started to contract directly with the shipyards themselves concerning the dismantling of the SSBNs; Nerpa at the Kola Peninsula, Zvezdochka in Severodvinsk and Zvezda in the Russian Far East.

  Yankee Delta-I Delta-II Delta-III Total
Nerpa   2 3   5
Zvezdochka   2 1 2 5
Zvezda 1 3     4
Total 1 7 4 2 14
Table 6. Submarines dismantled with CTR funds until 2000

Six SSBNs are being eliminated under CTR with work in progress both in the Northern Fleet and the Pacific Fleet, including one Typhoon class, three Delta-III class and two Delta-I class vessels in 2001. Two more SSBNs are on contract, including one Delta-I and one Delta-III. CTR has also been notified that one Delta-IV class submarine will soon become available. Discussions are also being held about one Typhoon, two Delta-IIIs and one Delta-I class vessel. Thus, CTR will fund in total the dismantlement of 27 SSBNs assuming that all of the planned contracts are fulfilled. In total, CTR’s objective is to dismantle 31 SSBNs. The work will proceed at Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk and at Zvezda shipyard in the Far East.

In 1998, due to the lack of defuelling capacities and storage space for spent nuclear fuel, US officials granted CTR a waiver of the non-reprocessing policy. It was agreed that CTR would fund shipment of spent nuclear fuel to the Mayak reprocessing plant from 15 SSBNs dismantled on CTR’s money.