Author`s name Michael Simpson

G8 Scientists Discuss Utilization of Russian Nuclear Submarines - 26 March, 2003

The first seminar on the problem of Russian submarines utilization was held on the basis of the Zvezdochka military shipyard in the Russian city of Severodvinsk in 2001. This time specialists and representatives of ten countries, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, the USA, Italy participate in the seminar. And the military shipyard already has experience in organization of international events of this kind. On the eve of the seminar we interviewed Zvezdochka director general Nikolay Kalistratov.

Why do you think the Ministry for Atomic Energy suggested to hold the seminar on the basis of your enterprise? Does it demonstrate trust to the enterprise that is to protect interests of the region and of Russia on the whole in front of the world community?

Zvezdochka has considerable experience with utilization of nuclear submarines; this work is carried out at the enterprise in accordance with the governmental defense order. Within  ten years the enterprise has been utilizing submarines with ballistic missiles of the Yankee and Delta class, those ones that were written off in accordance with agreements between Russia and the USA. But it would be impossible to create the modern utilization infrastructure without financial support of the American and Norwegian governments. And guests of the seminar will see operations and effectiveness of the system. Those who cooperate with Zvezdochka know that the enterprise closely meets its commitments, which may serve a guarantee to our prospective partners.

Do you think the seminar will bring efficient results?

I think that those who come to the seminar do it because of their interest and wish to establish cooperation, not to hold a check-up of our achievements. The key problem to be discussed at the seminar will be utilization of multi-purpose submarines that are written off but are still afloat.

Do you have any suggestions on improvement of the complex utilization system?

I will certainly voice them on the first day of the seminar. There are several weak points in the utilization infrastructure. First of all, to reduce the volume of accumulated solid radioactive wastes we must increase the capacity of the processing sector. But for this very purpose  we should modify the sector where combustible solid radioactive wastes are burnt down.  Besides, in order to switch to an ecologically safer and less hang-the-expense variant of storage of reactor compartments, we need to build a temporary storehouse at the enterprise especially for these compartments. A temporary storehouse of solid radioactive wastes which volume is currently only 80% filled is waiting for rehabilitation. Another problem is modernization of the decontamination sector and construction of a sector for re-melting of metal solid radioactive wastes.

Have you already established business contacts for solution of the above mentioned problems?

We have already established contacts with the French company Technicatome and developed propositions concerning modernization of the sector where solid radioactive wastes are burnt down. Modernization of the sector will reduce the volume of solid radioactive wastes, improve working conditions of the personnel and make the environmental situation better.

What countries participating in the seminar evince practical interest to Russia?

We hope that Great Britain, Germany and Canada will be our future partners. We have already concluded an agreement with Italy on utilization of the Admiral Ushakov cruiser with observation of the ecological safety norms. I think that any country anxious about ecological safety of the world community will find an opportunity to apply its efforts and funds for solution of the problem. We would be happy if Zvezdochka can help with solution of the nuclear submarine utilization problem.

Nadezhda Shcherbinina
Severny Rabochy newspaper