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12th meeting of Russian-Norwegian commission on nuclear and radiation safety cooperation

09 сентября 2009
Новости отрасли

The 12th meeting of the Russian-Norwegian commission on nuclear and radiation safety cooperation has taken place in Svanhovd (Norway).

The co-chairs of the commission are Deputy Director General of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation Yevgeny Yevstratov and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Elisabeth Walaas.

On Sept 8 2009 he Norwegian delegation led by Ms. Walaas visited Vaygach Island to observe the dismantlement of the last radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) in Northern Russia. A total of 85 RTGs have been dismantled so far in Murmansk region in the framework of the Russian-Norwegian cooperation. Instead the local lighthouses have been equipped with alternative sources — solar batteries. This year the parties started dismantling 22 RTGs in the Baltic Sea.

During the meeting the Norwegian delegates pointed out that Rosatom has created favorable conditions for further cooperation with Norway in the framework of the Global Partnership program. The negotiations for dismantlement of nuclear submarines and provision of necessary infrastructure for quick withdrawal of spent nuclear fuel from the biggest storage facility in the North-West at Andreeva Bay. This is one of the key priorities of the Russian-Norwegian cooperation.

The Russian delegation presented Rosatom’s plans to create a final isolation facility. Presently, Russia is forming a unified state system for treatment of radioactive waste, which stipulates that the Sayda Bay facility should be used for long-term but not final isolation. The Norwegian partners have been invited to jointly create a final isolation facility and radioactive waste treatment infrastructure.

The national regulatory authorities in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy — the Federal Medical Biological Agency of Russia and the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority — also took part in the meeting. They have carried out a number of joint projects to improve the sanitary-epidemiological control of the Federal Medical Biological Agency of Russia over the radiation and ecological safety of SevRAO’s activities.

The Norwegian party pointed out serious improvements in the radiation safety situation in the Northern region and the high safety standards applied by Russian companies. Even though the Russian-Norwegian Global Partnership cooperation is finishing in 2012, the parties are committed to continue their joint work to ensure radiation safety in the North-Western region.

A total of 198 nuclear submarines have been decommissioned in Russia so far. They are subject to dismantlement: 120 have already been dismantled, 7 are being dismantled and 3 will be dismantled shortly. 4 nuclear submarines have been dismantled in the framework of the Russian-Norwegian cooperation so far. The spent fuel of their reactors is being stored at Sayda Bay.

A number of physical protection and infrastructure facilities have been reconstructed and built at the interim storage site of Andreeva Bay. Presently, the parties are reconstructing the dock used for the dispatch of spent nuclear fuel to Rosatom’s processing enterprise and are designing onsite engineering networks.

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