New nuclear waste storage facility in Siberia

Another large nuclear waste storage facility will be built in the closed city of Zheleznogorsk, near Krasnoyarsk, East Siberia, in the coming five years, said Pavel Morozov, head of the press service at the local mining-chemical enterprise, on Friday.

In contrast to the existing storage facility, where nuclear waste is stored under a layer of water, the new one will use the so-called "dry" method, which is safer and has already been employed in the USA, France, Hungary and other countries, Morozov said.

The existing storage already contains 3,000 tons of fuel in it, and has room for 6,000 more tons at the most, meanwhile the planned capacity of the new storage facility will be gradually increased to 40,000 tons.

"This complies with the concept of the nuclear energy development in Russia for the coming decades", the enterprise's head engineer Yuri Revenko believes. In July 2002 he will head a delegation to the USA that will study their colleagues' experience in the "dry" method of storing of nuclear waste.

The construction of the new storage facility will start in 2003. Its first block will be put into operation in 2006-2007.

The project will require $120 million.

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