02:27 GMT +322 October 2019
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    The U.S. Navy's Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarine HMAS Rankin (SSG 78) operate together in waters off Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

    US Navy to Bild New Spent Nuclear Facility in Idaho

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    The US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) will spend $1.65 billion to build a new spent nuclear handling facility in Idaho.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The facility at the Idaho National Laboratory will be used to support the naval nuclear reactor defueling and refueling schedules required to meet the operational needs of the US Navy, the National Nuclear Security Administration said in a press release.

    "Building a new facility will improve long-term capacity, increase efficiency and effectiveness, and reduce long‑term costs and risks," the release stated on Friday. "The mission of the NNPP, also known as Naval Reactors, is to provide militarily effective nuclear propulsion plants and ensure their safe, reliable and long-lived operation."

    Since 1957, spent nuclear fuel removed from naval reactors at shipyards or prototypes has been transferred to specially designed shipping containers and transported to the Naval Reactors facility by rail.

    The Idaho National Laboratory is part of the US Energy Department’s complex of national laboratories and performs work in the energy, national security, science and environment fields.

    The facility is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development.

    Construction on the spent nuclear handling facility is expected to begin in 2019 and become operational in 2024, the release noted.


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