Spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste storage facilities at Andreyeva Bay were hastily built during the Soviet era. They were meant to be used on a temporary basis to house nuclear materials, which are still being stored there at enormous risk to the environment and local community. The facilities store more than 20,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies, Bellona.org reports. A representative of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom said at this week’s seminar that the Andreyeva Bay site has in the last few years undergone significant improvements, which have reduced the dangers of radiation hazards. The piers are under reconstruction, and the engineering schematics for buffer storage for spent nuclear fuel have been completed, and tools for handling spent nuclear fuel are being developed.
The Andreeva Bay is located in the Litsa Fjord between the city of Murmansk and the Norwegian border. The site is the primary spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste storage facility for the Northern Fleet. It contains about 21,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies and about 12,000 cubic meters of solid and liquid radioactive wastes. There are three wet storage tanks in the Andreeva Bay facility, containing large volumes of spent nuclear fuel. These tanks are deteriorating due to poor maintenance and the harsh Arctic climate.