Rosatom: Gremikha military base to be cleared from nuclear fuel by 2020
The North Fleet Gremikha base will be cleared of spent nuclear fuel before 2020, Rosatom submarine disposal project office director Anatoly Zakharchev told reporters in Murmansk on Thursday.
"We will start to dismantle another nine active zones in Gremikha. I think nuclear fuel will be completely removed from the base by 2020 and we will create "a brown lawn" at first and, naturally, "a green lawn" afterwards," he said.
Zakharchev said "the brown lawn" stood for decontamination of polluted areas for industrial activities and "the green lawn" was fit for socioeconomic needs.
Spent fuel from the reactors of submarines scrapped in Gremikha is brought to the storage facility of Atomflot in Murmansk and later transported to Mayak in the Chelyabinsk region for processing, the Rosatom representative said.
Gremikha is located on the eastern coast of the Kola Peninsula, approximately 350 kilometers away from the entry into the Kola Bay. There is no communication with the base by land. Soviet nuclear submarines were deployed in Gremikha in the 1960s.
It is now a site storing spent nuclear fuel and reloading submarine reactors. The base witnessed several accidents in the Soviet period. Environmentalists said the project failed to meet modern nuclear security requirements. The withdrawal of spent materials from Germikha with financial support from international sponsors started in 2008.