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Canada To Help Russia Dismantle Nuclear Subs

Posted on Thursday, August 05 at 04:52 by -Mario-

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Globe and Mail Update

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said Wednesday that he has pledged $24.4-million to help Russia in the dismantling of its decommissioned nuclear submarines.

The agreement is part of a larger $20-billion program to dispose of Russian nuclear materials that was announced at Kananaskis, Alta., during the G8 summit in 2002.

“Spent nuclear fuel in Russian submarine reactors presents an international security risk and an environmental threat to the Arctic and Barents Sea,” Mr. Pettigrew said in a statement. “Funding this initiative is a key element of our international security agenda and a high priority for Canada under the G8 Global Partnership announced at Kananaskis.”

Russia has 56 retired nuclear submarines in the Barents Sea region awaiting disposal.

Canada will help dismantle three Victor-class nuclear submarines. Mr. Pettigrew said Canada will commit to at least three more similar annual agreements to support the dismantlement of 12 submarines at a total cost of $116-million.

The Britain, Norway, Japan, Germany and the United States are also active in funding Russian nuclear-submarine dismantlement.

The United States is the largest contributor, offering up $10-billion (U.S.) over 10 years to the project. Russia has a commitment of $2-billion over the next 10 years.

At the end of the Cold War arms race, Russia had nearly 200 nuclear submarines in need of immediate dismantling.

"Dismantling decommissioned nuclear submarines is a lengthy and expensive process," Foreign Affairs said in a release. "The total cost of dismantling all of Russia's decommissioned nuclear submarines will likely reach several billion dollars."

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