Workers are about to complete the handling infrastructure for partly damaged spent nuclear fuel at Russia’s Andreeva Bay.
Some 22,000 spent nuclear fuel elements are stored in three old, run-down concrete tanks close to the shore of fjord Litsa fjord. Photo: Aleksandr Emelianenko
Thomas Nilsen, Independent Barent's Observer, 26 October 2016
About 22,000 spent nuclear fuel elements from operation of Soviet’s fleet of submarines are stored in three dilapidated concrete tanks a few hundred metres from shore on Russia’s Barents Sea coast. That is equal to around 100 reactor cores.
No other places in the world are so huge amount of highly radioactive uranium fuel stored under such bad conditions.
Removing the waste-elements is considered to be the most risky nuclear-safety operation ever to happen in the Russian north.
Why Canada and Russia should unite to support a common position against the US in advancing certain Arctic claims
Michael Byers, Global Brief, February 6, 2012
Unlike the Antarctic, a continent surrounded by oceans, the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents. Most of the Arctic Ocean coastline belongs to the world’s two largest countries – Russia and Canada – each of which also owns territory on either side of a series of contested, and increasingly ice-free, Arctic straits.
Canada considers the Northwest Passage to be internal waters. Russia takes the same view of the Northern Sea Route. Both countries recognize that the thinning and melting of the Arctic sea ice pose environmental and security risks at the same time that they create economic opportunities in the form of increased shipping and access to natural resources. Both take the view that their domestic laws provide the best bases for protecting and developing their Northern coastlines. And both face a single, common source of opposition to their claims – namely, the US. All of this should beg the question: why have Russia and Canada not bolstered their respective positions by recognizing each other’s legal positions?
To continue its dominance on the Arctic, the Russian Bear needs the help of foreign markets, investors and technologies.
Michael Byers, Al Jazeera.com, 3 January 2011
Vancouver, Canada - In the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, Marko Ramius, the rogue captain of a Soviet nuclear missile submarine, evades the US and Soviet navies by maneuvering deftly through a narrow and winding - but precisely charted - mid-Atlantic trench.
In real life, the Soviet navy's charting efforts extended to the heart of the NATO-controlled Canadian Arctic. Soviet-era charts on board the Akademik Ioffe, an ice-strengthened ship owned by the Russian Academy of Sciences and chartered by a Canadian eco-cruise company, show many more depth soundings in the Northwest Passage than do comparable Canadian charts.
The old Soviet Union may have been just as familiar with Canada’s Arctic waters as Canadians.
Sections of Cold-War-era nautical charts obtained by The Canadian Press suggest that Russian mariners have for decades possessed detailed and accurate knowledge of crucial internal waterways such as the Northwest Passage.
Those charts, which may offer the first documentary proof of the widely held belief that Soviet nuclear submarines routinely patrolled the Canadian Arctic during the Cold War, are still in use by Russian vessels. In some places, they are preferred to current Canadian charts.
ABOARD USS NEW HAMPSHIRE, Arctic Ocean | Mon Mar 21, 2011
(Reuters) - The machine that produces fresh air aboard the USS New Hampshire submarine failed during a mission under the vast ice cap of the Arctic Ocean last week, prompting the submarine to use an alternate oxygen candle system instead.
The federal government has paused a four-year pilot project to test
High Arctic surveillance technology at the entrance to the Northwest
Passage, CBC News has learned.
As part of the Northern Watch program, scientists from Defence
Research and Development Canada began installing underwater listening
devices and land-based sensors on Devon Island in the summer of 2008.
If successful, the tested technology would help Canada detect ships
and submarines passing through the eastern entrance to the Northwest
Contacted by CBC News, a National Defence spokesperson would only
say the Northern Watch program is taking a hiatus this summer as
researchers want to evaluate data the devices have collected already.
They will then decide what to do with the program, the spokesperson added.
Oliver Moore & Paul Koring, Globe and Mail, April 7, 2009
-- The amount of thick sea ice
in the Arctic has shrunk sharply, according to new U.S. surveillance
data, adding urgency to Canada's push to exert sovereignty in the North.
But Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said yesterday it could be decades before the Northwest Passage is open for shipping.
"Some experts predict that the entire Arctic could be ice free by
2013, others say that this will happen by 2050," Mr. Cannon told the
Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
"Our own Canadian Ice Service, however, believes the various
internal waterways known as the Northwest Passage will not likely be a
reliable commercial shipping route for decades owing to extreme ice
Jets near Canadian airspace, possible sub approaches questioned
Bill Curry, Globe and Mail, March 21, 2009
OTTAWA — A senior official from the Russian
embassy will be asked Monday to explain his country's approach to
sending bombers - and possibly nuclear submarines - to the edge of
Arctic air space and waters claimed by Canada.
A FASCINATION with the frozen reaches above the 60th parallel has
played a central role in the development of the Canadian national
consciousness. Although most Canadians have never been within a
thousand miles of the region, an enthrallment with ''the Arctic
sublime,'' as it has been described by Franklyn Griffiths, a University
of Toronto political scientist who has written extensively on the
subject, is part of the country's birthright.
So it has been
in the longstanding dispute over the Northwest Passage, the channel of
icy sea that snakes through the islands of the Canada's Arctic. Any
country questioning Canadian ownership of the passage - ''lock, stock
and icebergs,'' as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney expresses it - is
challenging something essential to national pride.
PARIS — One's name was Rubis, her rival's Trafalgar. The first was a
French submarine, the second British. Neither sub class now guards
Canada's Far North sovereignty. Yet some 18 years ago, Ottawa almost
decided to buy up to a dozen such nuclear-powered U-boats to defend its
long-contested claim over the water and seabed of those vast polar
territories in red on your map.