European Commission to assist in reconstruction of radwaste facility near Murmansk

Publish date: September 27, 2005

European Commission accepted an application concerning financing of the radwaste storage facility Radon in Murmansk region.

The first contracts dealing with this project can be signed already in the end of the year, then in the frames of the TACIS program the managing company will be established. This company will announce tenders to choose the contractors, Interfax reported with reference to the economics department of the Murmansk administration. Preliminary cost of the project is $3.5m. Tender, paper work and consulting will cost about 730,000 euro. Financing of the works on site is scheduled for 2007 due to the technical complexity of the project.

However, a new entry checkpoint is under construction at the facility as it is financed from the Russian budget. Earlier it was planned that Russia, Norway and Sweden will share the costs and the start-up of the facility was set for 2005, but Sweden refused to take part in the project after joining European Union and its implementation was suspended, reported Interfax.

The Radon storage facility in Murmansk county is one of 16 national storage facilities for low and medium level waste generated by Russian industry and medical activities. More than 70 local businesses and institutions have delivered waste to the facility. The storage facility can accommodate 800 m3 of solid and 200 m3 of liquid radioactive waste. The facility was taken into use in 1965. Due to violations of Russian guidelines for the storage of radioactive waste, on June 18, 1993, the Russian radiation protection authority (GAN) ruled that the facility would no longer be permitted to accept radioactive waste. Consequently, the waste that was formerly delivered to the Radon storage facility was henceforth stored at the site of its creation. At the beginning of 1995, 350 m3 of waste with an activity of 531 TBq were stored at various user facilities. Furthermore, an additional 370 TBq is stored in 10 containers holding radioactive waste from the nuclear icebreaker Lenin.