Dismantling Nuclear Submarines
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Dismantling Nuclear Submarines


The Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Power stated that Russia wanted to start dismantling foreign nuclear submarines. While they have the capacities to do this the question remains - where will the spent nuclear fuel from submarine reactors be stored? Russia is currently dismantling only its own nuclear submarines, and doing so with a foreign aid. Russia received $100 million a year for these purposes. In the space of five to six years, all of the remaining 80 Russian nuclear submarines will be scrapped. Following that, the agency said they would be ready to take U.S., British, and French submarines, which would save foreign partners considerable sums and bring in earnings for Russia.

Experts say this cooperation will keep the already existing plants used to dismantle submarines in work. Russia is currently scrapping vessels built between 1960 and 1970 and once this is done, the capacities will be freed. There may be foreign demand for this service. But since the dismantling plants were built with foreign assistance, the interested countries may demand a hefty discount when it comes to scrapping their submarines, which means Russians are unlikely to enjoy a windfall. However, the main issue is, where to process and store spent nuclear fuel. The agency said that it could be unloaded in the countries that own the submarines. When a law was adopted in 2001 to allow Russia to store spent nuclear fuel, environmentalists also feared that it would be the first step toward turning Russia into a global nuclear dump. At the moment Russia only accepts and recycles spent fuel from reactors that were built by them abroad.

RIA Novosti  

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