Russia’s Rosatom Corporation is nearing to complete the recycling of Soviet-made decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines and support vessels.
Currently, 195 of the 201 decommissioned submarines have been recycled. The demolition of all the decommissioned nuclear submarines and 14 technical support vessels is due to be completed by 2020.
"We have started the recycling of technical support vessels and depot ships. By 2020, we are expected to complete the dismantling and recycling of all 14 support ships decommissioned from the Northern and the Pacific Fleets as well as two Atomflot support ships," Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko said during the "70th anniversary of the Russian Atom" forum in Chelyabinsk.
In 2014, the recycling of the "Volodarsky" depot ship was completed. Now, the dismantling of the "Lepse" depot ship has begun. Within six months, it will have its nuclear fuel removed. Then it will be prepared for wet storage before the disposal.
Kirienko also pointed out that under the "Nuclear radioactive safety 2" program new equipment and technology were developed, including the recycling technology for the uranium-beryllium fuel from project 705 submarines which were equipped with liquid-metal reactors.
The need to recycle nuclear submarines and depot ships emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union. At that time, military spending was significantly reduced. More than 200 submarines built in the 1950-1980s, and a large number of support vessels, were decommissioned from the Russian navy.