The German-Russian project that is part of the G8 initiative on Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction focuses on the speedy construction of a land-based interim storage facility for nuclear submarine reactor compartments at Sayda Bay near Murmansk. This project includes the required infrastructure facilities for long-term storage of about 150 reactor compartments for a period of about 70 years. The interim storage facility is a precondition for effective activities of decommissioning and dismantlement of almost all nuclear-powered submarines of the Russian Northern Fleet. The project also includes the establishment of a computer-assisted waste monitoring system. In addition, the project involves clearing Sayda Bay of other shipwrecks of the Russian navy. On the German side the project is carried out by the Energiewerke Nord GmbH (EWN) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (BMWi). On the Russian side the Kurchatov Institute holds the project management of the long-term interim storage facility in Sayda Bay, whilst the Nerpa Shipyard, which is about 25 km away from the storage facility, is dismantling the submarines and preparing the reactor compartments for long-term interim storage. The technical monitoring of the German part of this project, being implemented by BMWi, is the responsibility of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). This paper gives an overview of the German-Russian project and a brief description of solutions for nuclear submarine disposal in other countries. At Nerpa shipyard, being refurbished with logistic and technical support from Germany, the reactor compartments are sealed by welding, provided with biological shielding, subjected to surface treatment and conservation measures. Using floating docks, a tugboat tows the reactor compartments from Nerpa shipyard to the interim storage facility at Sayda Bay where they will be left on the on-shore concrete storage space to allow the radioactivity to decay. For transport of reactor compartments at the shipyard, at the dock and at the storage facility, hydraulic keel blocks, developed and supplied by German subcontractors, are used. In July 2006 the first stage of the reactor compartment storage facility was commissioned and the first seven reactor compartments have been delivered from Nerpa shipyard. Following transports of reactor compartments to the storage facility are expected in 2007.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.