Murmansk, July 22, 2020 – Rosatom organizations are carrying out the final works on removing the main bulk of spent nuclear fuel from the Lepse floating maintenance base (FMB) at Nerpa Shipyard’s JSC Zvezdochka.
The last of the six batches of spent fuel assemblies was loaded into TUK-18 packing containers and was transported on board the Serebryanka service ship to an FSUE «Atomflot» special storage site. As a result of the activities started in May 2019, 620 spent fuel assemblies have been cut out and unloaded from the service vessel using specifically designed technologies and unique equipment.
«In a short period of time and in difficult radiation conditions Rosatomflot specialists carried out exceptional work having unloaded substandard spent fuel assemblies», said Mustafa Kashka, Director General of FSUE Atomflot. «Radiation exposure level of the personnel did not exceed control levels and average annual rates. We have taken an important step in strengthening environmental security in the Barents Euro-Arctic region».
«Lepse dismantlement is an internationally significant environmental project», said Alexander Zhelnin, Director General of NFC Logistics Center. «Unloading of the last batch of spent nuclear fuel marked a successful completion of the project within the framework of international technical assistance. The remaining 19 spent fuel assemblies that are currently located in the caissons are planned for unloading in 2021 by means of the federal budget».
As of today, 97% of all spent nuclear fuel from Lepse has been unloaded, and 24 containers with the spent nuclear fuel have been already sent for processing to the Mayak nuclear facility.
«Beginning last year the maximum pace of spent nuclear fuel removal from the storage facilities at Andreeva Bay, Gremikha camp and the Lepse FMB has been achieved. At the same time the total radioactivity of the removed nuclear materials is about half a million curies, which makes it possible to create a zone without nuclear hazardous facilities in the North-West of Russia, which is especially important for the environment», noted Director for Public Policy on Radioactive Waste, Spent Nuclear Fuel and Nuclear Decommissioning at State Corporation Rosatom Oleg Kryukov.