Enterprise Zvezdochka (Starlet) in the Russian northern city of Severodvinsk for the first time purposefully uses a recently constructed unique complex designed for discharge of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear submarines meant for utilization. The other day the sub Akula (Shark or it is better known as Typhoon), was prepared for discharging. The huge nuclear submarine with the 33,800 thousand tons displacement (the serial number 712) was included in the Navy at the end of December 1983. Its 24 ballistic missiles have been a menace for enemies for dozens of years. The six Typhoons built in Russia were included into the Guinness Record Book as the world largest submarines. The number 712 submarine was the second in the “record” class (before the year of 1997 six Typhoons were constructed, only two of them are left as operating now in Russia’s Navy). After the perestroika, when foreign countries unexpectedly turned into Russia’s friends, the submarine was moored at the Kola peninsular, then it was transported to Severodvinsk. Alteration of the nuclear submarine into submarine tanker or ore carrier, as it was planned, failed, as finance was sent from the USA to utilize the Typhoon. The financing was granted in the network of the Nann – Lugar program, named so after the US senators who persuaded the US leadership to help Russia to destroy battle-worthy strategic purpose cruisers. At the same time no financing was granted for utilization of outdated nuclear subs that amount to over 50 already in the Russian Navy. By the way, the same program provided for financing of construction of a complex for waste nuclear fuel discharge at the enterprise Zvezdochka. Before launching of the new complex spent uranium was discharged from submarines with old nuclear fuel transshippers.
At the same time another submarine of a similar class is being modernized and reconstructed at Severodvinsk’s enterprise Sevmashpredpriyatie. But this time the reconstruction is done with Russia’s financing. This submarine is two years older than the number 712 that is to be utilized. A rather strange Russian tradition: to repair what is to be liquidated and liquidate what still can function.
The USA, in its turn, does not plan at all to liquidate majority of Los Angeles class submarines, even the oldest ones. Does not America hope to get money from Russia for utilization as well?
Andrey Mikhailov Special report for PRAVDA.Ru Severodvinsk
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/18/41331.html