The 13th meeting of the Contact Expert Group (CEG) for International Radwaste Projects in the Russian Federation* took place on 6-8 November 2001 in Oskarshamn, Sweden. The meeting was attended by 60 participants from 10 countries and 4 international organisations and the European Commission. .
The meeting considered three topical issues, namely:
In addition the following presentations were made and received with interest:
Remediation of SNF and Radwaste storage site at Andreeva Bay
Mr. V. Panteleev, SevRAO enterprise, RF presented description of the Andreeva Bay site, current status of storage facilities, and quantities of SNF and radwaste stored there. General strategy, current activities at the site and short-term plans were explained.
Mr. H. Rotler, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway briefly informed the meeting participants on current and planned activities at the site under Norwegian sponsorship, and the CEG Chairman provided information on the visit of Norwegian delegation to Andreeva Bay in May 2001.
Mr. D. Rudolph, US Department of Defense presented the main conclusions and recommendations of the CEG workshop on Andreeva Bay clean-up, held in Idaho Falls, ID, USA on 23-25 October 2001. He mentioned that the CEG parties attended the workshop generally agreed to support first priority measures and production of the feasibility studies.
Mr. V. Panteleev presented the first priority projects on Andreeva Bay site. Construction of physical protection system and creation of normal working conditions for the personnel were defined as a first priority projects. He underlined that these tasks are to be implemented prior to actual activities on SNF and RW management are initiated. Optimal strategy and actual improvement measures should be identified on the basis of specific feasibility studies and detailed surveys which also serve as a basis for development of the comprehensive plan on remediation of the site. At the same time it is necessary to implement urgent activities (including equipment supply), which are not related to the outcomes of the feasibility studies.
Russian side asked the CEG to endorse Andreeva Bay remediation program for further implementation by the donor countries.
The CEG acknowledged presentations made and the discussion that followed. The CEG regards the Andreeva Bay as a CEG high priority project for implementation. Some CEG members will contact their national authorities and identify what additional involvement could be granted after the legal framework for cooperation is available. The CEG Chairman and the Executive Secretary will approach donors in order to define specific activities which could be sponsored.
The CEG Chairman and Mr. V.Semin, RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented overview of the history and current status of negotiation of the MNEPR and AMEC Agreements. It was noted that Andreeva Bay remediation is such a big issue that it requires a multilateral efforts to be put forward because of enormous expenses involved and difficulties to be challenged. With regard to MNEPR Agreement it was noted that the parties are much closer now in resolution of an open issues, and continuation of the negotiations is expected shortly. Signing of the MNEPR Agreement will create necessary legal framework for substantial expansion of Western assistance to Russia in resolution of urgent problems, such as the Andreeva Bay remediation. (Reservation of the Russian side: Russian side would like to note that in spite of absence of the MNEPR Agreement, substantial progress was reached and useful practical results gained within the frames of bilateral cooperation which should be promoted and expanded).
Current status and plans of the Russian Federation priority projects
Mr. V. Akhunov informed the meeting that taken into account urgency and high importance of the project on construction of the interim SNF storage at Mayak for the Russian Federation programme on decommissioning of nuclear submarines, Russian side has approached potential donors: CTR program and CEG donors. Both parties agreed to sponsor the project, however commitments made by the CTR program are more preferable to the Russian side.
Mr. C. Bergman, SIP, Sweden informed the meeting on recent visit of Western experts to Mayak site and the Western European donors perspective with regard to this project. He underlined that CEG donors would not create competition with CTR program, and initiation of activities is pending selection of the sponsor.
Norway and Sweden informed the meeting that since CTR has taken over the project, allocated resources for the project development and implementation will be reoriented on the other CEG priority projects. Moreover, UK stated that these changed circumstances present particular problems. It is difficult to reallocate committed funding where there are changes.
The CEG did note that the Mayak project will be further implemented by the CTR
program and therefore decided to delete the Mayak project from the list of CEG
Mr. J.O. Snihs, SSI, Sweden presented project proposals on rehabilitation of Murmansk RADON centre. Detailed discussion took place.
The CEG acknowledged the presentation and decided to endorse further development and implementation of the project. Russian side will facilitate submission of available documents on completed feasibility and other studies in order to speed-up elaboration of detailed plans for the Radon project development and implementation.
Mr. V. Shishkin, ENTEK, RF informed meeting on plans on construction of a repository for solid radioactive waste at Novaya Zemlya. Minatom declared its intend to implement the plans with support of Western donors, and further safety analyses will be conducted to demonstrate that the project meets safety requirements. Detailed discussion has followed.
The CEG received presentation with interest and decided to endorse the project for further implementation. Established cooperation with the international group of experts should be continued and proposals for funding the additional cooperative activities will be prepared by this group.
Mr. R. Dyer, US EPA presented Information on Technical Seminar on Reactor Compartment Storage Facility at Hanford (August 2001) and Mr. V.Shishkin, ENTEK, RF informed the meeting on current status and plans for construction of the regional storage for reactor compartments at Sayda Bay. Russian side reconfirmed that this project is of the highest priority, since in the short-term absence of space available to store three-compartment units could create a bottleneck for implementation of the general submarine decommissioning program. International support for the project implementation was requested. US EPA and RF side proposed to arrange a specific workshop to elaborate detailed technical information on the project..
The CEG acknowledged the presentations and the discussion that followed. The CEG noted the position of the Russian Side regarding importance of the project, but at the same time the CEG points out that final decision on participants and ways in implementing the project may be taken when the results of the workshop in March 2002 are available. Russian side invited representatives of all potential donor countries to take part in the workshop.
The CEG Chairman informed the meeting that since the agreement between NEFCO and the Russian Federation is close to signing, the Lepse project could be re-initiated..
The CEG decided that the CEG Chairman will send a letter to the European Commission with requesting confirmation of the EC participation in the Lepse project.
Discussion of updated Terms of Reference of the CEG
Presentation of a draft updated Terms of Reference (TOR) of the CEG was made by Mr. H. Rotler and Ms. A. Sorlie, alternate of the CEG member for Norway. During followed discussion several comments were made and accepted.
The new CEG TOR have been adopted and will take effect from 1 January 2002.
The CEG's organizational and financial matters