Scientists from a Norwegian environmental group say they have obtained a leaked report by the Russian government's highest nuclear authority warning of imminent risk of explosion in the enormous tanks holding discarded submarine fuel rods at its Andreeva Bay facility on the Arctic Ocean.
According to the Rosatom report, obtained by researchers at Bellona, an environmental group that has monitored the Russian site near the year-around ice-free naval port of Murmansk for evidence of leakage from radioactive wastes, three large cement tanks, built to house used fuel rods that began leaking in 1982, have begun to deteriorate due to cold and contact with seawater, creating conditions that could lead to an explosion.
Andreeva Bay, on the Kola peninsula of north-western Russia, is the nation's primary spent-nuclear-fuel and radioactive-waste storage facility for its Northern Fleet. Currently, the facility holds 21,000 spent-nuclear-fuel assemblies and about 12,000 cubic meters of solid and liquid radioactive wastes.
Unlike the U.S., the former Soviet Union made no plans for the eventual dismantling of its nuclear fleet and the safe management of radioactive wastes, More....