Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation System in Andreeva Bay

Building No.5 in Andreeva Bay served as a wet storage facility for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) discharged from nuclear submarine reactors. When leaks developed in the ponds in the 1980s, the fuel was urgently transported to three temporary dry storage units nearby and has been kept there since. Water has entered the storage units and many of the storage cells are flooded. Water analysis has shown that the storage units are leaking into the ground.

The objective of this Agreement is to establish the system for the handling and transport of the 22,000 spent fuel assemblies (SFA) - equivalent to 100 reactor cores - from the dry storage tanks in Andreeva Bay.

The project includes the procurement and installation of the required cranes for the accumulation pad for the casks, the DSU Enclosure and for the pier, the construction of accumulation pad for the casks, the procurement of the SNF retrieval and repacking equipment and the construction of the DSU Enclosure, the development and supply of a special vehicle to transport the SNF casks from the DSU Enclosure to the accumulation pad and a trolley system to transport casks from the accumulation pad to the pier.

The most difficult operation will be the extraction of SNF from the storage cells where it has been stored for over 20 years. In order to conduct this task safely, special remote controlled tools are developed. Discharged fuel will be conditioned inside the enclosure and placed into special certified 40 tonne casks to ensure fuel safety during further transportation and storage in accordance with international standards of IAEA. The casks will then be transported to the pier and loaded by cranes onto the transport ship to be delivered to the Atomflot enterprise near Murmansk. From there the casks will be transhipped to purpose built rail cars and transported to Mayak in Chelyabinsk Region for final reprocessing.

The removal of SNF from Andreeva Bay is a commendable example of multi-lateral cooperation for resolving a complex nuclear legacy problem. The United Kingdom is funding the design and construction of major SNF management facilities. The NDEP will support SNF transportation. Norway will contribute by upgrading the site infrastructure (pier, roads, power supply and other auxiliary systems) while Italy will provide facilities for radwaste management and will construct a transport ship to remove SNF from the site. The European Commission is developing special automated tools to discharge fuel from the storage facilities. Russia will operate the site, overseeing safety and security aspects and performing the actual retrieval of fuel and its transportation to Mayak.

At a glance

Nuclear safety
Grant agreement signed:
Project status:
Implementing IFI:


NDEP Grant

  • €55,000,000
  • Total
  • €55,000,000


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