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Russia says 137 nuclear submarines scrapped under global program

MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has scrapped 137 out of 197 decommissioned submarines under an international program, a federal nuclear agency official said Tuesday.

Russia has signed cooperation agreements on disposal of decommissioned nuclear submarines with the United States, Britain, Canada, Japan, Italy and Norway. The disposal program costs an overall $2 billion, with Russia having allocated $850 million as of 2005.

"The disposal program is proceeding well," said Andrei Malyshev, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power. "As of the second quarter 2006, we had scrapped 137 nuclear submarines. The disposal of another 22 is under way and we are planning to scrap 38 more in the future."

The official said Russia had no complaints about its foreign partners in the program's implementation.

Malyshev said the first part of long-term storage facilities for nuclear reactors from scrapped submarines in the Arctic Murmansk Region would be put into service on July 18. The facilities have been built with funds allocated by the German government under the Global Partnership Program, which started in 2003 after being signed at a summit of leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Canada the previous year.

Germany has allocated a total of 300 million euro (over $382 million) for the construction of nuclear storage facilities in northern Russia.

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