Submarines: June 1, 2003


Russia still has 150 nuclear subs that are out of service and not yet dismantled. Many have sunk next to the piers where they have been, for all practical purposes, abandoned. Most of these derelict nuclear subs are tied up in Arctic  bases. These subs still have nuclear fuel in their reactors. Russia, the United States, Norway and Japan are cooperating in building dismantling facilities in Russian shipyards. The United States has pledged to contribute $10 billion to assist Russia in dismantling these subs, and other obsolete nuclear weapons. But other industrialized nations are slow in coming forward with contributions. The dismantling process will cost over $10 billion, at least if it is to be done safely. In the past, Russia just dumped old reactors into deep Arctic waters. Norway and Japan, which both fish Arctic waters heavily, were quite upset when they discovered this in the 1990s. There is fear that the Russians will just tow the old subs out and sink them in deep water if any begin to leak radiation before they can be safely dismantled. 




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