events grows both in Russia (e.g., continuing accumulation of liquid HLW at SNF reprocessing plants, degraded SNF in disabled service ships and existing ground storage facilities) and in the United States (e.g., leaking and aging underground HLW tanks).
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) already has addressed its most pressing HLW problems that pose immediate risks to workers and the public, although some problems still require attention because the measures taken have been temporary solutions. The Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russia Federation (Minatom) has made efforts to address the most serious environmental and waste-management problems within its nuclear complex, and has made progress on some of them. But the resources available for these activities in Russia have been much smaller, and some of the problems, particularly the environmental contamination, are more difficult and urgent than their counterparts in the United States. As a result, the timeframe for dealing with the problems requiring near-term actions in Russia is more immediate than in the United States.
Over the next few decades, both countries also must address the development of interim and final end points, including any necessary research and development.
In Russia, progress is being made as HLW at the Production Association “Mayak” (PA “Mayak”) is immobilized in aluminophosphate glass logs and stored onsite; storage facilities are planned for SNF at several sites; and the rate of defueling of decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines has increased. It is the committee’s judgment that the following recommendations require action in timeframes of months or years.
Because of the potentially horrible consequences of theft of nuclear materials containing highly enriched uranium (HEU) and Plutonium, efforts to prevent such thefts should be strengthened. This can be accomplished by improving materials protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A) at sites where HEU (including HEU SNF) and plutonium are stored and by consolidation of these materials in well-protected, centralized storage facilities. Accelerating