Tuesday, April 26, 2005

From Chernobyl Disaster to Nuclear Submarine Disposal

Today was the 19th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.

Chernobyl April 26, 1986

So with that in mind, and other nuclear disasters relating specifically to Russian submarines, think about this recently floated proposal . The St. Petersburg Times reports that Alexander Rumyantsev, head of the Federal Nuclear Power Agency, or Rosatom wants to help the West dispose of its old nuclear subs.

Idle Russian Nuclear Submarines.

The Russians decommissioning and disposal of nuclear submarines has concerned the West for years. But now they think they can make money off the West (Russian Capitalists?) with lower costs and higher efficiency.

Never mind the classified technology concerns, their previous safety record makes me think "That's one Crazy Ivan!" proposal.


Anonymous said...

There is a very good reason why the city newspaper in Murmansk carries a daily radiological forecast: the Russian's are total screw-ups when it comes to nuclear decomissioning. They cannot handle their own boats without A: begging for funds from the West (and Japan) and B: when that doesn't work, setting off alarm bells in hopes that Option A will be more persuasive. Think "protection money." An international facility ought to be taking THEIR boats and breaking them up. They cannot, repeat, cannot handle it themselves and the material that is left sitting around in unguarded dumps may well come back to haunt us all.

Lubber's Line said...

I agree that the Russian's have a real bad track record when it comes to anything nuclear. The cost savings they can demonstrate in decommissioning nuclear boats is probably due more to their lack of standards or any environmental controls than anything else. I don't think the Russians are looking for protection money though, but they are in desperate need of funds to keep their shipyards operating.

Our concerns over their aging and idle nuke boats puts us in a catch 22 predicament. We can pay them to do the disposal and hope that it's done right and safeguarded (your concern). We can try to convince the Russians to let us do the job, not likely and we still pay the bill. Or we can just let them cook in their own radiation.

I think we're doing the most probable and least risky of the three, but it is indeed far from an ideal situation.