On June 5th, the 50th and last container with unprocessed spent nuclear fuel was removed from the vessel “Lotta” and placed in an onshore storage facility, Rosatomflot’s website reads.
“There is no more spent radioactive fuel on board “Lotta””, says Oleg Khalimullin of Atomflot. “This is an important event for the company and for the Northwestern region. We have removed all kinds of nuclear and radioactive risks to the environment connected with on-board storage of nuclear waste”.
“Lotta” has been used as a floating storage facility for spent nuclear fuel for several decades. A few years ago, Atomflot built a storage plant on its premises in Murmansk, and special containers for long-term storage of the fuel were made. The spent fuel will eventually be sent to Russia’s central reprocessing plant “Mayak” in Chelyabinsk Oblast.
The further plan is that “Lotta” should be decommissioned. In an interview with BarentsObserver last year, Director of Rosatomflot Vyacheslav Ruksha said he expected that decommissioning of “Lotta” could take place in the 2020s, together with the vessels “Serebryanka”, “Imandra”, “Taymyr” and “Vaygach”.