The former on-shore nuclear maintenance base of the Northern Fleet of Russia has started unloading spent nuclear fuel (SNF) of nuclear submarines.

“In one day we managed to unload seven spent fuel assemblies and, thus, to load one shroud which will be installed in one transportation package. The radiation level met all preset limits at all posts in operations. Our specialists have done the runtime that confirmed the capabilities determined at the stage of development. It’s worth noting that the first shroud is the beginning. Huge work is ahead of us. We are sure we can gain additional process skills during SNF handling and improve certain processes and facilitate off-shipment of SNF,” Valery Yeremenko, Director of NWC SevRAO, RosRAO Branch, said.

“The fact that SNF unloading is carried out in the standard mode demonstrates well concerted work of FC NRS specialists who had prepared the SNF handling infrastructure, RosRAO who had unload, and the correctness of design and engineering decisions made earlier and implemented by a large number of ROSATOM’s specialists and experts from contractors,” Andrei Goliney, Director General of FC NRS said.

“Unloading of a first batch of SNF is a marking event and an example of the successful multilateral cooperation in solving complex problems of nuclear legacy in North-West Russia, improvement of nuclear and radiation safety  and environmental situation. Ten years has been needed to start these works which were spent to develop design documents, carry out state expert reviews and investments, construct and commission the facilities. Now, we can say for sure that we have made one more step in ROSATOM companies’ work to solve tasks in the Arctic,” Vladimir Luzhin, RosRAO’s Director General noted.

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In Andreeva Bay building of facilities for handling SNF and radioactive waste (RAW) and engineering systems was carried out with the help of international technical assistance under the Federal Target Program “Large-scale disposal of armaments and military equipment in 2011-2015 and until 2020”. The main feature of working in Andreeva Bay’s SNF storages is all-season and all-weather capability. A combination of weather benefits and engineering achievements obtained through the project implementation make one sure the SNF handling be a success. This is owing to engineering and technical solutions made by GI VNIPIET (now JSC Atomproekt), engineering institutes JSC NIKIET, JSC OKBM Afrikantov, JSC IPPE,  NIPTB ONEGA, builders, manufacturers and vendors of new structures, absolutely new, no-analogue equipment and machines (JSC RSM, LLC Stroytekhnoka, SPS Dose LLC, FSUE PA Protsenko Start and others), as well as JSC FC NRS which catered for SNF infrastructure construction.

Spent nuclear fuel will be shipped off from Andreeva Bay for further reprocessing in the end of June 2017. It is planned that the most important stage of the multinational project to rehabilitate one of the most hazardous facilities of North-West Russia will be completed this year.
Source: Press Service of FSUE RosRAO