Arctic Awards 2018 prize in the special environmental nomination, “Live Planet”, goes to the National Operator for Handling Radioactive Waste (Federal State Unitary Enterprise NO RAO). Arctic Awards celebrates the company’s contribution to ensuring nuclear and radiation safety in the Arctic.
NO RAO is the only organization in Russia dealing with the final insolation of radioactive waste from the so-called ‘nuclear legacy’. Researchers say the volume of radioactive waste accumulated in Russia from the implementation of the Soviet nuclear project is about 500 million cubic meters. Numerous vessels with spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste were sunk in the Arctic a long time ago. In particular, reactor sections or nuclear-powered submarines, screening section of the Lenin nuclear-powered icebreaker and twenty thousand containers with radioactive waste are buried at the bottom of the ocean next to the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. NO RAO has been working with Russian and international environmental organizations to find these hazardous items in the Arctic, assess risks to the environment and take action for bringing the nuclear waste discovered into a safe state and liquidating it. NO RAO plans to recycle all old and new radioactive waste materials produced in the country.