Japan to dismantle five more Russian subs

Publish date: November 16, 2005

In a long anticipated move toward fulfilling its G-8 Global Partnership commitments, the Japanese government will shoulder the expense of dismantling five abandoned Russian nuclear submarines that are likely to leak radiation, Agencie France-Presse reported Monday.

Tokyo and Moscow will finalise the agreement on November 21st, when Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

Japan has already spent about 700 million yen ($5.9m) to demolish a derelict Viktor Class submarine last December that had been decommissioned from the Russian nuclear Pacific Fleet. The fleet has some 40 other rusting submarines, many with their spent nuclear fuel still on board, awaiting dismantlement. They are scattered along the Far East coast of Russia, which makes speedy demolition problematic.

Japan will likely pay a similar amount for each of these next five, whose demolition work is slated to begin at the end of next year, the paper said.

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