Skip to main content
Nuclear Safety Cooperation

R4.12/95 - improvement safety waste management

All Countries
Benefitting Zone
€ 335,012.92
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1997
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Waste Management



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Restricted Call for Tender - External Actions


17/08/2000 - 13/07/2000



Project / Budget year

WW9508 Nuclear Safety 1995 / 1995


The overall objective of the project is to decrease the risk from spent fuel in the North West of Russia by decreasing the amount of spent fuel accumulated in the regions of Murmansk and Archangelsk and to limit the duration of the storage period to an acceptable amount of time.
Planned outputs
Inception Report, including a detailed work plan and time schedule and the Quality Assurance Programme for the project;
Report on the assessment of the existing transport complications in shipping spent fuel to Mayak;
Report on the assessment of the recoverability of spent fuel in the Arctic Seas;
Final Report, which will summarise the information on the existing problems in each of the areas defined above, their causes and the possible solutions.
It will also rank the potential remedial options in order of cost and effectiveness in restoring safe, limited storage of spent fuel in the North West region of Russia.
Project activities in tasks
Task 1. Detailed organisation.
Task 2. Assessment of the complications of shipping spent fuel to Mayak.
Task 2.1. Determination of the inventory of spent fuel;
Task 2.2. Case histories for fuel delayed in shipping;
Task 2.3. Identification of options for restoring the transportability of spent fuel;
Task 2.4. Ranking of options for restoring transportability of spent fuel.
Task 3. Assessment of the recoverability of spent fuel in the Arctic Sea.
Task 3.1. Determination of the inventory of dumped reactors and their spent fuel;
Task 3.2. Identification and evaluation of options for recovery the dumped reactors and their spent fuel;
Task 3.3. Identification and evaluation of options for dealing with the spent fuel.
Task 4. Final Report.


The project suffered substantial delay due to slow contribution, decision making by Beneficiary and Local Subcontractor.
The clearance given by the Russian authorities (late December 1999) to use the key-information, the updated spent fuel data, specifically accounting for the decommissioned submarines, has finally changed the actual prospective of the project.
Accordingly, the project has regained momentum from that time onwards. The report on Tasks 2.3 and 2.4, in hands of VNIPIET since summer 1999, was finally reviewed, revised and re-drafted by VNIPIET and transmitted to the Contractor in January.
Cost evaluation/considerations for the restoration of spent fuel transportability are reported to be consistent with a parallel feasibility study, not limited to the North West region of Russia, performed by VNIPIET and NIKIET on behalf of Minatom. Significant modifications are reported to the original context and conclusions of the draft report.
Moreover, as stated by VNIPIET, the content of the report, before transmittal to the contractor, has been reviewed by Minatom, the resulting strategy approved in principle by Minatom and included in the Federal Programme for Radioactive Waste and Spent fuel Management.
This contributes to the sustainability and the relevance of the project. The elements of the above strategy and relevant operation approach are included in the Task report.
In parallel VNIPIET has been completing the review of the Task 3 report, in their hands since spring 1999.On the basis of the above considerations the technical activities can be considered essentially completed. VNIPIET has received the extension of the subcontract until the end of March 2000.
The one-year long issue and the different positions of Minatom and VNIPIET about the reference spent fuel data for the Task 2 have been finally overcome.
However, a more transparent attitude and approach on the matter from the Russian side, in particular from VNIPIET and Minatom, should have resulted in a more straightforward implementation of the project, avoiding misunderstandings by contractor and TM, and moreover avoiding additional and unnecessary work by the contractor.
This is the case of the sensitivity analysis and the flexible approach concept, aimed at preserving to the possible extent the sustainability of the results of Task 2 in the absence of up-to-date and reliable spent fuel data: they resulted eventually superseded.
According to VNIPIET, the new spent fuel data including that arising from the dismantled submarines, necessary to achieve results of real value as requested by Minatom, were available since the beginning of the project. However, owing to their specific nature, potentially sensitive and related to the national security, their release and use for the project objectives have been delayed by VNIPIET until clearance was received from relevant Russian authorities, without any previous mention thereabout.
Conflicting positions and specific interests inside Russian organisations may have delayed such a clearance.
The history of the reference spent fuel data is summarised in the briefing note NU/SB/AV/26 dated 22 July 1999.