Russia contracts with Italy for decommissioning the last remaining Northern Fleet nuclear submarine no longer in operation
But 'Barents Observer' notes there are still more than 70 reactor compartments to be taken safely onshore from storage in Saida Bay, west of Murmansk near the border with Norway.
Rosatom, Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation has for years been looking for a funder to cover the costs of scrapping the last of the 120 retired nuclear powered submarines that sailed in the Northern fleet during the Cold War. Now, Italy agrees to pay €7 million to cut out the reactor-compartment from the submarine, currently laid up at Nerpa naval yard on the Kola Peninsula, according to 'AtomInfo'.
The United States will grant €1 million to cover the cost of transportation of the spent nuclear fuel from the submarines two reactors to Russia’s reprocessing plant in Mayak in the South Urals.
The deal is a part of the funding provided via the Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction, initiated by the G8 countries in 2002.
Although the submarines are cut up and the metal is sent to recycling, the reactor compartments are still highly radioactive and must be stored safely onshore for decades. For that purpose, a huge onshore storage pad is built in the Saida Bay, west of Murmansk towards the border to Norway.
The Russian Northern fleet still has more than 20 nuclear powered submarines in operation and several more are under testing and construction.