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    RUSSIA'S FIRST SOLID RADIOACTIVE WASTE PROCESSING CENTRE PRESENTED IN POLYARNY

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    MURMANSK, FEBRUARY 26. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- The presentation of Russia's first centre for processing solid radioactive waste from nuclear submarines to be utilised was held on Thursday at the ship-building factory No 10 /SRZ-10/ in the city of Polyarny in the Murmansk region.

    The project has been carried out within the framework of the international programme for international military environmental co-operation in the Arctic /AMEC/ with the participation of Russian, Norwegian and American defence ministries.

    SRZ-10 chief Anatoli Kolner, Captain 1st Rank, said at the presentation that the SRZ-10 provisional storage sites contain about 600 cubic meters of solid radioactive waste stockpiled in recent years from the utilisation of 15 nuclear submarines of the first and second generations.

    "We hope that thanks to the international project we will be able to process this amount during one year", Kolner said.

    Lieutenant-General Alevtin Yunak, in charge of environmental security of the Russian Armed Forces and Russian co-chairman of the AMEC directorate, said that the processing problem is among the most serious problems in the utilisation of nuclear submarines of the Northern fleet.

    In all, enterprises in Russia's North-West have stockpiled 800 thousand cubic meters of solid radioactive waste. To Yunak, agreement has been reached between the Defence Ministry and the Ministry for the Nuclear Power Industry to use the Polyarny centre for military and non-military agencies keeping solid radioactive waste.

    Thanks to the new centre, solid radioactive waste in the north-west of Russia will be fully utilised in 4 to 5 years to come.

    The Polyarny project within the AMEC programme began in 2001 with the participation of Norway and the United States.

    The AMEC programme was developed by the defence ministries of Russia, the United States and Norway in 1996. In Russia over 20 projects are being implemented within the programme. In 2003 summer the AMEC programme was joined by the British Defence Ministry.

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