The Lepse Floating Maintenance Base Poses No Threat to Arctic
ROSATOM’s service ship Serebryanka delivered 19 spent fuel assemblies contained in caissons aboard the Lepse floating maintenance base to a special FSUE Atomflot storage site in Murmansk, thereby completing the final stage of unloading spent nuclear fuel from the Lepse ship. The fuel assemblies were transported in TUK-18 containers. The unloading and transport of 19 spent fuel assemblies were funded by the federal budget. Unloading was carried out at the site of the Nerpa shipyard a branch of JSC Zvezdochka. FSUE Atomflot personnel are now tasked with offloading the containers and sending the nuclear fuel for reprocessing. After this, bow large storage package, a hermetically sealed bow-based container, of the floating maintenance base Lepse will be transported to the Sayda-Guba long-term reactor compartment storage facility in 2022, as was previously done for the stern-based container.
Previously, in July 2020, the Lepse floating maintenance base’s main batch of spent nuclear fuel was unloaded at the Nerpa shipyard. A total of 620 spent fuel assemblies were extracted and unloaded.
Lepse was built as a dry cargo ship in 1934 and converted into a floating maintenance base in 1961. Until 1981, the base was used to recharge nuclear icebreaker reactors with nuclear fuel. After 1981, the Lepse FMB was used only for storing spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. In 1988, the base was decommissioned.