Main projects
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Decommissioning of submarines
In 2003, Norway started financing the decommissioning of non-strategic nuclear submarines to reduce the risk of radioactive contamination of the environment and proliferation of fissile material. The two first decommissioning projects were started in June 2003 and concluded in 2004. Total expenditure on implementing the projects was just in excess of NOK 83 million. An evaluation of the pilot project concluded that the objectives had been reached. An independent evaluation of environmental consequences made by Enviros, a UK-based firm, on assignment from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, substantiated the attainment of environmental objectives. The evaluations of the Norwegian authorities and Enviros provided a basis for further Norwegian investments in this type of submarine project. In May 2005 the contract was signed to dismantle a Victor III submarine at Nerpa Shipyard.

Securing radioactive sources (RTGs) in Russian lighthouses
The objective is to replace strong radioactive energy sources (strontium batteries) - used today in the operation of some Russian lighthouse lanterns along the coasts in the north – with environmental-friendly solar cell technology. The project comprises environmentally sound waste handling and long-term storage of spent strontium batteries from Russian lighthouses. The batteries are transported to the Institute of Technological Physics and Automatisation in Moscow where the radioactive part is removed. The radioactive part is then forwarded to the processing plant “Mayak”, where it is subjected to final treatment and then disposed of. So far, 65 strontium batteries have been removed and 37 solar panels installed.
There are plans to remove 31 RTGs in 2005 with Norwegian financial support.

Andreyev Bay
Andreyev Bay is the North Fleet’s main base for storage of spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste. The fuel is stored under very bad conditions and the ground, the buildings and the fiord are contaminated. It is important that clean-up operations are started to prevent further contamination of the environment and to ensure control and secure storage of spent fuel. Before clean-up can be started, the infrastructure must be developed and a mapping of both surface and ground contamination must be performed. A new access road to the facility has been built, electricity supply has been improved, systems for water and drains are in place and several buildings have been built for personnel working at the facility. A mapping of radiation levels and the degree of contamination in the area has also been concluded. The results form the basis for implementation of other projects and for the development of dose planning tools and a modern personal dosimetry system.

Safety measures at Kola nuclear power plant
The background for Norway’s involvement in the Kola nuclear power plant was the recognition that Russian nuclear power plants represent the greatest potential sources of spreading of radioactive contamination to Norway in case of accident. Norway has therefore, through the Norwegian Action Plan for Nuclear Safety Issues, made substantial contributions towards safer operation of the nuclear power plant until it may be closed down.

Norway’s bilateral assistance to securing the plant comprises a number of areas, among them securing an emergency power supply and reactor cooling in crisis situations, securing the integrity of the cooling system and other critical components. Other important areas have been the improvement of instrumentation and operational safety and preparing safety analyses. In an early phase of cooperation with the Kola nuclear power plant, priority was given to competence-building in areas where both equipment and control routines were inadequate. A common feature of these measures was situation control and monitoring critical systems and security functions. In these areas, a gradual build-up of security equipment was made in step with training, competence-building and establishing necessary routines for internal use at the plant. Kola nuclear power plant has contributed considerable human resources to the implementation of these measures and to the adaptation and build-up of the organisation for maintenance and quality assurance.

In 2004, measures were concentrated on developing earlier initiatives in the form of supplementary supplies of equipment, spare parts and further training.

Norway’s participation in EU’s Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP)
The NDEP originated in EU’s action plan for the northern dimension, adopted at the summit in Feira, Portugal, in 2000. A separate fund – the NDEP Support Fund – was set up in 2001 to coordinate environmental initiatives in the northern dimension. The fund has two programmes, one for environment measures and one for nuclear safety measures. At 1 January 2004, the Fund had registered contributions of nearly € 200 million, of which approximately €148 million were earmarked for nuclear safety measures. The EBRD manages the fund’s assets and leads the project work. Norway has pledged € 10 million. The entire amount is earmarked for nuclear safety measures. Norway has a seat in the fund’s supreme decision-making body (the Assembly of Contributors) as well as in the Nuclear Operating Committee.

Cooperation with the authorities
Close cooperation with the authorities is of great importance to ensure that specific projects are implemented safely and in an environment-friendly manner. Such cooperation contributes at the same time to making Russia better able to solve its own problems. The supervisory authorities’ position is also decisive to secure a sustainable management of nuclear activity and to ensure that western assistance will no longer be needed in the future. An important area of cooperation between the authorities is reviewing and comparing Russian, Norwegian and international regulatory frameworks in the area of radiation protection. The objective is among other things to cooperate on drawing up normative documents of relevance to specific projects under the action plan and to international work in general. Particular importance is attached to cooperation with the authorities in connection with activities in the Andreyev Bay and the decommissioning of strontium batteries in North-West Russia.