The service ship, Lepse, contains spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste from the former USSR’s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. It poses a significant environmental threat to north-western Russia and the surrounding area.
In October 2014 the Lepse was lifted out of the water and placed in a dry dock at the Nerpa shipyard near the city of Murmansk, where the dismantling works will take place. Preparatory work continued on installing special equipment at the shipyard that will allow workers to remove nuclear and radioactive material from the Lepse before dismantling it. The whole project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
The decommissioning of the Lepse is financed by a €53 million grant from the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership.