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    Russia scraps 148 out of 197 decommissioned nuclear submarines

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    Russia has dismantled 148 out of 197 decommissioned Soviet-era nuclear submarines, a Russian Federal Nuclear Power Agency official said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has dismantled 148 out of 197 decommissioned Soviet-era nuclear submarines, a Russian Federal Nuclear Power Agency official said Wednesday.

    "Out of 197 nuclear submarines, 148 have been scrapped," Viktor Akhunov said.

    Russia has signed cooperation agreements on the disposal of decommissioned nuclear submarines with the United States, Britain, Canada, Japan, Italy and Norway.

    Akhunov said Russia dismantles 18 nuclear subs annually. He said it costs about $7 million to dismantle a nuclear sub.

    During the dismantling process, spent nuclear fuel is removed from the submarine's reactors and sent to storage, the hull is cut into three sections, and the bow and stern are removed and destroyed. The reactor section is sealed and transferred to storage.

    "We will scrap all decommissioned nuclear submarines by 2010," Sergei Kiriyenko, who heads Russia's nuclear agency, said in November.

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