A naval technical base was located at Andreyeva Bay since 1961 and used for storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). A radiological accident occurred there in 1982. Later on, the base ceased operation. At present, it stores approximately 22,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies; however, storage conditions are not consistent with up-to-date safety requirements, pose a serious potential hazard for the environment and might imply risks for the personnel and the public.
Following the initiative of the NDEP Fund and Rosatom, the Strategic Master Plan for dismantling and environmental remediation of decommissioned nuclear fleet units in North-West Russia was developed in 2007. Funding was provided from the RF federal budget against the Federal Target Programme for Dismantling Nuclear Submarines and technical assistance ensured by the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Support Fund (NDEP Fund). The NDEP Fund is administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and unites effort of the Donor countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands etc. The Project also consolidates the effort of other Donors that provide direct funding to a number of works.
FCNRS was involved in construction of two-thirds of all the facilities at Andreyeva Bay, supply of the m/v Rossita, supported shielding installation in the SNF storage facilities, organised activities of all contractors, legal support and supervision of works.
The following key facilities have been built and commissioned at Andreyeva Bay under administration by the Federal Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety:
- Mechanical & Repair Shop with an SNF Decontamination Area
- Transporter for Cask Transfer between the Accumulation Pad and the DSU Enclosure
- Accumulation Pad for SNF TUK Casks
- Retrieval Machine for fuel retrieval from the DSU Tanks
- 50T Crane and two 20T Cranes for handling SNF casks
- Transfer trolley for casks
- Crane on the Pier
- The Rossita cask carrier ship
- SNF Dry Storage Units Enclosure (the core of the SNF Management Complex)
The Enclosure over the Dry Storage Units was one of the most complicated facilities in terms of construction.
17,500 cub.m. of rock was removed during the construction of the DSU Enclosure – the core of the SNF Management Complex. 420 piles were driven down to the rock in the immediate vicinity of the SNF storage tanks. Over 22,000 m of cables were laid across the Site. 1,400 T of steel structures were manufactured and installed under supervision by the FCNRS experts.
This June will see the commencement of the vital process related to nuclear and environmental protection in the Northern region – dispatching first trains carrying SNF from the Andreyeva Bay storage facilities to Mayak for reprocessing. Thirty trains carrying SNF from Andreyeva Bay are expected to remove spent fuel during 10 to 15 years.
A Recognition Letter was received from the Governor of the Murmansk Region for significant contribution to the development and implementation of the project for remediating hazardous nuclear and radiological facilities at Andreyeva Bay.