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Norway to Help Russia with Submarine Decommissioning

Norway together with the US, France and Great Britain participated in the construction of a modern complex for utilization of nuclear submarines in Russia's Severodvinsk

Norway together with the US, France and Great Britain participated in the construction of a modern complex for utilization of nuclear submarines in Russia's Severodvinsk

Norway Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Traavik paid an official visit to Russia's Pomorye and visited one of the leading shipyards of the region, the Zvezdochka enterprise in the city of Severodvinsk. PRAVDA.Ru learnt in the press-service of the regional administration that the parties touched upon such aspects of cooperation as shipbuilding oil and gas production on the Barents Sea shelf and nuclear security guarantees at utilization of nuclear submarines at Zvezdochka.

Norway together with the US, France and Great Britain participated in construction of a modern complex for utilization of nuclear submarines and radioactive waste processing at Zvezdochka.

The above mentioned complex consists of sectors for thermal and mechanical cutting of bodies and equipment of submarines that are to be decommissioned; a sector for cable processing; a coastal base for unloading of spent nuclear fuel from submarines that are to be decommissioned; a complex of infrastructures meant for unloading, acceptance, transportation, storage and processing of solid and liquid nuclear wastes.>

Together with a dock camera and a floating dock, this unique complex allows to decommission missile mounts and to perform complex decommissioning of nuclear submarines of all classes according to the Russian and international ecological safety regulations. According to Nikolay Kalistratov, the director of the enterprise, Zvezdochka has already decommissioned 20 strategic nuclear missile carriers.

The shipyard is ready to start decommissioning submarines. The only problem that still hampers the process is the lack of financing. Nikolay Kalistratov says that the Zvezdochka shipyard expects to receive assistance from foreign partners to solve this problem as Russia must not be the only country to deal with the environment problem.

Kim Traavik assured that Norway was ready to act as a coordinator for the countries currently working in Russia. Meanwhile, Zvezdochka has more problems to be settled. For instance, the Admiral Ushakov cruiser has been berthed in the  shipyard for four years already. All attempts to return it to service have failed.

Today, Russia has no money for both decommissioning or development of a decommissioning project. According to provisional estimates, the decommissioning may cost $40 million and no less than $2 million to develop a decommissioning project.