The Rossita, a radioactive waste transport ship donated to Russia by Italy in 2011, has completed its first mission.

The Rossita was launched at La Spezia, Italy in December 2010 destined for a role transporting submarine waste in north-west Russia. Atomflot took delivery of the vessel in early 2011 and was to put it to work shuttling between Gremikha, Andreeva Guba, Guba Sayda, Severodvinsk and other areas where submarine dismantling work is taking place.

In its first mission, completed on 20 July, the ship transported ten 20-tonne containers filled with solid radioactive waste from submarines at the formal naval base of Gremikha to the Sayda Bay storage facility. SevRAO is responsible for the cleanup of Gremikha. The ship returned to Atomport's icebreaker facility at the port of Murmansk yesterday.

"This was a test voyage, but active export of used nuclear fuel from Andreyeva Bay will start in 2016," Atomflot first deputy director general Mustafa Kashka said. The company will complete this task by 2030, he added.

The Rossita was given to Russia as part of Italy's commitment to the former G-8 global partnership plan to inject $20 billion into funding post-Soviet nuclear remediation projects between 2003 and 2013.

The Rossita was built by Fincantieri at the Mudzhano shipyard following the framework of a 2003 agreement on bilateral cooperation in dismantling Russia's submarine fleet. The construction itself was agreed in July 2008 after the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada, where leaders agreed the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

The vessel measures 84 metres in length by 14 metres in width and has two temperature-regulated cargo holds. It can carry a cargo of up to 720 tonnes over distances of up to 3000 kilometres.
Source: World Nuclear News