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Friday, July 11, 2008

Russian Agency Stops Building Nuclear Storage Facility in Siberia

The Russian Spetsstroy [special construction] agency on 1 April unilaterally stopped the construction of a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel on the territory of the ore mining and chemical plant (Krasnoyarsk Territory), a high-ranking source in Rosatom [the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency] has told RIA Novosti.

Before 2008 the construction of the dry storage facility had been financed by the Rosenergoatom concern and starting from 1 January 2008, funds were being disbursed under the federal targeted programme on nuclear and radiation safety.

A source in Rosatom said that the talks with Spetstroy on a new contract taking into account the new conditions for funding which had been "held before the beginning of July 2008 did not result in an agreement and Rosatom ended up publishing a notice on a tender for completing the construction of the storage facility".

"Terms for the tender envisage the participation of any construction organizations which have the required expertise and licences. In this particular case, the terms of the tender do not preclude the participation of Spetsstroy in it," the source said. The source also said that the three-month delay in the construction project was not a serious crisis.

A different source in the Russian nuclear sector has told RIA Novosti that some 700 people might lose their jobs as a result of Spetsstroy exiting from the construction project in Krasnoyarsk Territory. "A total of 1,200 people have been involved in the construction project and more than a half, 700 people, might find themselves jobless," the source said.

Russia's first dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel is due to be completed by 2011. Its projected capacity is 28,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power stations.

Originally published by RIA Novosti news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1450 10 Jul 08.

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