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Russia may help Britain scrap nuclear submarines

17.06.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

Russia's Zvezdochka shipyard in the town of Severodvinsk on the Barents Sea could scrap Britain's decommissioned nuclear submarines, a company official said on Monday.

At present, the U.K. does not have the facilities to reprocess nuclear components left on board at least 11 decommissioned vessels and is forced to store the submarines afloat indefinitely.

The Russian company, which specializes in reprocessing scrapped nuclear components, could help Britain resolve this problem under the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation program (AMEC).

The program was established in 1996 when the AMEC Declaration was signed by Russia, Norway and the U.S. to collaborate in addressing military-related environmental concerns in the arctic region. Britain joined the program in 2003.

"We could cut the reactor and two adjacent compartments from a sub, seal them hermetically and remove them to a permanent storage facility outside Russia," the source said.

He said that the Zvezdochka shipyard is currently dismantling only Russian submarines at a rate of approximately two vessels per year. However, by 2012-2015 the company may have enough capacity to take foreign orders.

Russia held preliminary talks on the issue with British Royal Navy officials, who recently visited the country.

According to the Zvezdochka spokesman, France has also expressed an interest in cooperation with the company on the dismantling of France's decommissioned submarines.

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