The program's main objective is to improve the processing of radioactive waste and fuel from the dismantling of disarmed nuclear-propelled vessels from the Soviet fleet.
Set up in 2001, the NDEP is an initiative aimed at coordinating the efforts of ten European countries including France to provide solutions to the environmental problems of northwest Russia.
The program is split into an « environment » section and a « nuclear waste » section ; the main objective of the latter is to improve the processing of radioactive waste and spent fuel in a region that is heavily polluted by the legacy of the Cold War. The principal source of the nuclear pollution is the dismantling of decommissioned nuclear-propelled vessels from the Soviet fleet.
Today the fund stands at 150 million €, and France, having donated 40 million €, is one of the two largest contributors to the nuclear waste section, the other being the European Commission. Canada is also contributing to this initiative. The NDEP fund is managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which ensures the assistance projects developed with Russia are implemented. France has paid 13.6 million € in contributions to the funding of the first projects launched in the nuclear section. Until now, three of them concerned the former naval base at Gremikha. Their implementation, coordinated with the projects developed bilaterally by France at the same site, has helped to ensure the security and surveillance of nuclear materials on the site.
The chief industrial projects concern the removal of damaged fuel from the Lepse service vessel, the construction of a buffer storage facility for spent VVR fuel at the former Andreeva Bay base, and the unloading of spent fuel form the Papa-class submarine.
To find out more
Visit the official website of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership.