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Paldiski nuclear object to be decommissioned using funding from the European Union
During today’s session the Government approved the draft presented by the Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, according to which, 2.1 million euros can be used for the research necessary for the final dismantlement of the former Paldiski nuclear object.
The preliminary research of the reactor sections is necessary to begin their dismantlement in 2040. Currently, information on the waste in various sections is very limited due to the fact that as the employees of the Russian Navy were leaving, most of the known information was also taken.
The current intermediate storage facility in Paldiski is a temporary solution and does not have the capacity to facilitate decommissioned reactor sections. Preliminary research will show how much waste, what kind of and with what kind of activity will be found during the dismantlement. This will, in turn, allow to project what type of final storage place for waste the country will need.
The reactors found in the Soviet Navy nuclear submarine training centre built in the beginning of 1960 were stopped in 1989 and the nuclear fuel was removed five years later. However, the Republic of Estonia was still fully responsible for the safe treatment of radioactive waste remaining within the former nuclear object as well as for the decommissioning of nuclear reactors. AS A.L.A.R.A belonging to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is responsible for the remediation of the nuclear object.
In 1995-2013, extensive remediation works were carried out in Paldiski. Unnecessary buildings were demolished and an intermediary storage facility for radioactive waste, compliant with international safety standards, was built. The safe storage of reactor sections has also been ensured.
However, information is still needed on the type and volume of waste that will be found during the final decommissioning and where it will be stored.