Imandra defuels Hotel class submarine at Nerpa

Publish date: October 29, 2003

Civilian nuclear support ship Imandra has completed defuelling of Hotel class non-strategic submarine at Nerpa shipyard in the Murmansk region on October 29th.

The defuelling operatation took two weeks. The defuelled submarine is the first generation Hotel class K-54, which entered active service in the Russian Northern Fleet in 1959 and retired in 1987. Hotel class submarines are equipped with two pressurised water reactor, or PWR.

The operation was carried out by nuclear support ship Imandra, which is operated by Murmansk Shipping Company, the commercial operator of Russian nuclear powered icebreakers fleet. Imandra‘s primary task is to refuel nuclear powered icebreakers. The ship has room for both fresh and spent nuclear fuel. Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy, or Minatom, paid for the defuelling.

The submarine will now be dismantled, its reactor section will be towed to Saida Bay in the Murmansk region for storage. Spent nuclear fuel will be transferred to Lotta, another nuclear support ship operated by Murmansk Shipping Company. Lotta will consequently transfer the fuel to a special train at nuclear powered icebreakers base Atomflot, located in the outskirts of Murmansk. The fuel will then be shipped to the Mayak reprocessing plant in the southern Urals.

It was the first time that Imandra crew conducted the entire operation. Similar operations carried out by Imandra during the past several years involved military personnel of the Northern Fleet.