The first shipment of spent nuclear fuel left the base in Andreeva Bay in June 2017, marking a crucial milestone in overcoming the legacy of the former Soviet Northern Fleet and its nuclear-powered submarines.
Under an international initiative financed by the Nuclear Window of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) over 22,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies, which are currently stored at Andreeva Bay, will be retrieved, packaged and removed from the site. The process is being carried out by SevRAO, part of Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom.
The Nuclear Window is part of the NDEP’s Support Fund, which was set up in July 2002 by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to pool contributions from donors for the improvement of the environment in north-west Russia.
The spent nuclear fuel comes from over 100 reactors from more than 50 nuclear submarines and has been stored at Andreeva Bay for the past 35 years. The radioactive material is currently held in dry storage units, some of which are damaged and leaking. The base was closed in 1992 and poses a serious environmental risk.
The strategy for removing the spent fuel from the dry storage units was developed by Russia and international experts under funding from the United Kingdom in 2002, and included building an enclosure over the dry storage units, retrieval of the spent fuel using a machine to provide protection for staff at all times, and repacking the spent fuel into new canisters. The canisters are subsequently transferred to specialised 40-tonne casks for further transportation.
The casks will be stored in the so-called accumulation pad and then transported to the pier by a purpose-built 50-tonne trolley. A specially designed pier crane will load them onto the Rossita, a ship built in – and financed by – Italy and designed to standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the transportation of spent nuclear fuel.
From Andreeva Bay the casks will be shipped by the Rossita to Murmansk. Here the cargo will be moved to purpose-built railway wagons and transported to its final destination, the nuclear reprocessing plant Mayak in Chelyabinsk near the Ural Mountains. Mayak has the necessary infrastructure and skilled resources for the final handling of the spent nuclear fuel.
This video tells the story of EBRD's and NDEP's work to help Russia overcome the legacy of the Soviet nuclear fleet.
Arctic Frontiers Science 2018 takes place Tuesday 23 January until Thursday 25 January 2018 and will address the following topics:
Aquaculture in the High North in times of change
The New Arctic in the Global Context
Resilient Arctic Societies and Industrial Development
Circumpolar Safety, Search and Rescue Collaboration
You can read more about each topic below.On behalf of the Arctic Frontiers Science Committees, we have great pleasure in inviting you to submit one or more abstracts to any of the four topics.
Abstract submission terms and conditions
Abstract submission closes on Tuesday 19 September 2017, 23:59, European time.
By submitting an abstract to Arctic Frontiers, you agree to the following:
The author is responsible for the accuracy of the abstract.
The acceptance of an abstract for Arctic Frontiers does not imply provision of travel, accommodation or registration fee for the Arctic Frontiers conference, nor any other costs associated with preparation or presentation of the abstract will be covered by the conference.
At least one author will be available to present the abstract (oral or poster format) if selected for the program. The authors will immediately notify the Arctic Frontiers conference secretariat if they are unable to present an abstract or if the presenting author is changed.
All presenting authors at the Arctic Frontiers conference must register and pay to attend.
You give us permission to publish your abstract submission on the Arctic Frontiers conference website and in the book of abstracts, also published online.
You confirm that the submission has been approved by all co-authors.
All abstracts must be submitted in English and via the online submission site. Other forms of submission e.g. by post, email or fax will not be accepted.
The abstract will be reviewed by members of the Scientific Committees and the Committee’s decision is final.
The long-awaited wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad started operations on 7 June 2017 at full capacity. The construction work of the plant was completed in 2015, and since then the plant has been taken into use step-by-step. The handling and disposal of wastewater sludge that was a condition for the operations was ready in May 2017.
The construction of the wastewater treatment plant was started as early as the 1980s. The project has been delayed for years, it has met with many obstacles, and the construction work was been suspended several times. It was not until December 2007 when the Russian Federation confirmed its funding for the project and the Financing Agreement of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership was signed. The project also includes the drinking water treatment plant in the eastern part of the city (EUR 35 million), which should be completed in 2018.
Kaliningrad wastewater treatment plant is very good news for the Baltic Sea, because until very recently, this city of almost half a million people was pouring 150,000 cubic meters of raw sewage into the sea every day. What has been in the making for more than forty years is now up and running.
Sources: Ministry of the Environment and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Nordic Investment Bank.
We invite you to take part in the 14th International Conference of the Russian Society for Ecological Economics “Ecological and economic problems of development of regions and countries (sustainable development, management of natural resources)”
Date: 3.7.2017-7.7.2017 Place: Petrozavodsk, Russia Webpage: http://RSEE.org
RSEE-2017 Conference continues the tradition of the Russian Society for Ecological Economics (RSEE) to organize meetings of scientists, graduate and post-graduate students and professionals, where they discuss the results of basic and applied research on ecological economics.
The 14th conference in Petrozavodsk will be devoted to the discussion of topical issues in the field of sustainable development of countries and regions, methodology and practices of establishing and developing the economic mechanism of nature management and environmental protection, including payments for the use of natural resources and environmental impact, assessment and elimination of accumulated environmental damage, development of environmental target programs, management of ecological and economic systems, the problem of interactions between authorities, business and civil society, environmental safety.
Prospective thematic areas of the conference: • environmental policy in Russia and around the world; • economic instruments for regulating the use of natural resources and environmental protection; • ecological and economic problems of development of northern and border regions; • development of methods for estimation of economic damage from environmental pollution; elimination of accumulated environmental damage; • interactions between authorities, business and the civil society in dealing with ecological and economic problems; • environmental and economic problems of Karelia; • the problem of resource- and energy-saving; • the effectiveness of nature conservation activities; • ecological-economic modeling in the field of sustainable development; • economic environmental impact assessment and expert review.
Conference languages - Russian and English. Interpretation will be provided during sessions.
Important Dates April 15: Submission of Abstracts (200 words) and Application Form (see below) May 1: Acceptance notification and Second Announcement-Invitation with the rules for submission of Extended Abstracts (up to 4 pages) for publication. May 20: Submission of Extended Abstracts, and Early Registration June 15: Preliminary Program
Delegations representing all Baltic coastal states as well as the EU meet this week at HELCOM headquarters to discuss and decide on the best measures for improving the Baltic marine environment.
The meeting participants will face major decisions required for completing HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea report Draft Recommendations on sewage sludge and conservation of underwater biotopes and habitats are expecting agreement. The 2-day meeting will also discuss the final plans for the HELCOM high-level segment on ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals, taking place on 28 February 2017.
Read more on the meeting, its targets and future work on HELCOM website.
The Gulf of Finland has the highest risk of oil spills in the Baltic Sea. Working under the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the Working Group on Risks of Maritime Activities in the Baltic Sea focuses on developing tools which will enable different institutions to understand the risks.
The Gulf of Finland is a narrow marine area with a great deal of traffic. The biggest environmental risk is posed by the heavy traffic of oil tankers from Russian harbours.
The first global study of soil carbon loss due to warming, finds that an additional 55 trillion kilograms of soil carbon could be added to the atmosphere between now and 2050. This is equivalent to as much as 17 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions during this same period. Most of it would come from Arctic and subarctic soils.
The Arctic Resilience Assessment (ARA) is an Arctic Council project led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. It builds on collaboration with Arctic countries and Indigenous Peoples in the region, as well as several Arctic scientific organizations. The ARA (previously Arctic Resilience Report) was approved as an Arctic Council project at the Senior Arctic Officials meeting in November 2011. The ARA was initiated by the Swedish Ministry of the Environment as a priority for the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (May 2011 to May 2013) and is being delivered under the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Download the assessment on Arctic Council website.
The BLASTIC project (2016-2018) aims at reducing plastic waste and, thereby, the inflow of hazardous substances into the Baltic Sea by mapping and monitoring the amounts of litter in the aquatic environment.
The BLASTIC project demonstrates how plastic waste in urban areas finds its way to the Baltic Sea and becomes marine litter. Land-based sources count for most of the marine litter, while rivers are major pathways feeding the sea with litter. In practice, the project takes regional and national strategies into use on a local level and also produces updated local action plans. The project also provides a methodology for mapping the most important sources and pathways of marine plastic litter and monitoring litter in rivers and coastal waters/areas.
IWAMA aims at improving resource efficiency in wastewater management of the region. The project actions are distributed along three main fields: capacity development, smart energy management and smart sludge management.
The intention of IWAMA is working together to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. In the publication, a visualisation of the scope of the project is present on the map, picturing the geographical locations of 17 project partners and 12 associated partners from 10 countries of the Baltic Sea Region. To strengthen the flow of knowledge and experience, the partners of IWAMA are united to provide the region with inspiration through the Baltic Sea Challenge network.
Download the IWAMA infograph leaflet on the UBC Sustainable Citied website.
Sustainable building and liveable, smart and sustainable cities are a priority area in the Nordic collaboration, which offers many examples of comprehensive solutions with people in focus. In this edition of “Green Growth the Nordic Way” you can learn about how smart Nordic energy solutions to common urban issues shorten the route towards the Nordic carbon-neutral scenario – a scenario that need not cost the earth to implement.
The Nordic market is a living laboratory for climate-smart solutions. In a preview of the Nordic Green to Scale project, we present some Nordic low-carbon success stories that, if they were scaled up in other parts of the world, could make a substantial contribution to attainment of the goals in the Paris Agreement. You can also read about the Nordic Prime Ministers’ initiative for tackling climate change and other global challenges.
Marine environment protection was high in the agenda of the EUSBSR Strategy Forum in Stockholm 8.-9.11.2016. The regional work by the sectors – shipping, ports, tourism, agriculture, wastewater management, fisheries and aquaculture – to protect the Baltic marine environment was debated about in a seminar hosted by HELCOM.
The Nordic Ministers for the Environment have launched a new co-operation programme aimed at improving the state of the environment and addressing climate change in Northwest Russia. The programme will support a range of projects at the local and regional level and is expected to yield environmental benefits even in in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
The programme will be launched in early 2017 with a call for proposals targeted at non-commercial environmental and climate projects involving partners from the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia. Read more on the Norden website.
The clean-up of Andreeva Bay is being financed through grants from the framework of Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership. Partner governments, like Norway, the European Commission and other donors have contributed with large amounts of money.
About 22,000 spent nuclear fuel elements from the operation of Soviet submarines are stored in three dilapidated concrete tanks a few hundred meters from shore on Russia's Barents Sea coast. That is equal to around 100 reactor cores. No other place in the world has such a large amount of highly radioactive uranium fuel stored under such poor conditions. Removing the waste-elements is considered to be the riskiest nuclear-safety operation ever undertaken in the Russian north.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing loans for the total amount of €21 million to rehabilitate water supply and wastewater infrastructure in three Belarusian towns with a total population of over 400.000 people.
The loans are extended under the €40 million Belarus Water Sector Framework, which will also be expanded to other municipalities across the country. It will help modernise water and wastewater treatment facilities, rehabilitate corresponding networks, modernise pumping stations and finance the purchase of maintenance equipment in the towns of Lida, Polotsk and Orsha.
Subprojects of €6 million in Lida (western Belarus) and of €9 million in Polotsk (northern Belarus) will help local utilities comply with EU standards for wastewater treatment and will follow recommendations by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission to bring significant environmental benefits to the local population and reduce the pollution of the Baltic Sea basin. The Polotsk subproject also envisages the construction of a brand new wastewater treatment facility.
The subprojects will be co-financed by investment grants of €3 million and €4.21 million, respectively, provided by the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership. Pre-investment feasibility studies for both Lida and Polotsk were implemented with the help of technical cooperation funds provided by the government of Sweden.
The Baltic Sea has in terms of areal coverage the highest protection of all European marine regions; 12% of the HELCOM area is designated as marine protected areas (MPAs) thus, the target set by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity of conserving at least 10% of coastal and marine areas has been reached in the Baltic Sea.
The network of coastal and marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea, or HELCOM MPAs, is however not yet ecologically coherent, concludes the new HELCOM assessment. A coherent network, an achievement only possible through cooperation between the Baltic Sea countries, would ensure that the MPAs in the Baltic Sea are providing protection beyond the individual sites. Satisfactory coherence is important as it would contribute significantly to the biological diversity in the Baltic Sea and to favourable status of habitats and species, which are both major goals for HELCOM.
Read more and download the assessment on HELCOM website.
The second phase of a comprehensive wastewater treatment investment programme in Gatchina, Russia took a major leap forward today when a grant agreement worth EUR 500,000 was signed between the local waterworks Gatchina Vodokanal and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP).
This background study is aimed at enabling fruitful cooperation between the Baltic Sea States in implementing and pursuing the 2030 Agenda and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and serves as a resource for developing governance for sustainable development in the region. Further, the report includes suggestions on how to organise the work for the global SD Goals in the future.
Download the study on Council of the Baltic Sea website.
The current, fifteenth issue of the journal “Studia Periegetica” is entirely devoted to the matters of education for sustainable development. It particularly focuses on research, practical implementation and educational solutions in the area of education for sustainable development applied in the Baltic Sea Region. Authors of the papers take into account academic activities, public administration entities and companies located in this region.
The second phase of a comprehensive wastewater treatment investment programme in Gatchina, Russia took a major leap forward today when a grant agreement worth EUR 500,000 was signed between the local waterworks Gatchina Vodokanal and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP). The grant is intended to facilitate investments related to modernisation of the plant’s biological treatment lines and the improvement of phosphorus and nitrogen removal.
“Considering the local commitment and all the investments and improvements which have been carried out so far, I think it is fair to say that Gatchina is a symbol of success that will serve as a good example for other cities in the region,” said Jaakko Henttonen, Adviser to the EBRD.
The BONUS BaltCoast project published the first out of three special issues of the Coastal & Marine Magazine.
“Recalling ICZM – Insights from the Baltic” gives an introduction to the BONUS BaltCoast project, as well as to a Systems Approach Framework for the sustainable management of the Baltic Sea, which is implemented by the project. The issue sets a special focus on the re-analysis of ICZM case studies in the Baltic Sea Region. The PDF is available under: http://www.baltcoast.net/dissemination/publications-via-coastal-marine-magazine.html
The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE has published an assessment of the Gulf of Finland, compiling the research results of over a hundred Finnish, Russian and Estonian researchers. The over 300-page publication includes recent information on issues such as eutrophication, hazardous substances, invasive species, noise, maritime traffic, and plastic waste. The publication is the most important result of the Gulf of Finland Year arranged by the countries.
The publication includes for the first time a comprehensive collection of material on the status of the Gulf of Finland over a long period of time, collected by the three countries.
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