The disposal of Lepse depot ship that serviced Russian nuclear vessels is scheduled for completion in 2019.
In 1963–1981, the depot ship supported fuel reloading operations on Lenin, Arktika and Sibir nuclear icebreakers. After 1981 Lepse was only used to store spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste and was decommissioned in 1988. The vessel contains over 600 spent fuel assemblies. Since some of them are damaged, they cannot be unloaded from the storage unit with a standard procedure. The disposal of Lepse is an important project for maintaining nuclear and radiation safety in Northwest Russia. It is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and is part of Russia’s federal target program Nuclear and Radiation Safety 2030. Unloading of nuclear fuel from Lepse is expected to begin in the second half of 2018, with the forward storage unit to be shipped to Sayda Guba by the end of 2019.