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Russia launched its new nuclear icebreaker just as Norway and the EU have started helping financially and technically to cleanup one of Russia’s old nuclear waste ships! The US, Europe (including Norway), Canada, and Japan have given billions to Russian nuclear cleanup efforts, freeing Russian funds to develop more nuclear icebreakers, submarines, etc. This goes back to the Bush years, when Bush loved Pootie, Poot, Putin (and Russian oil and gas). So, the “west” has been helping to cleanup old Russian nuclear, while Putin uses the money saved to invest in new nuclear.

Norway and the EU/European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are helping to pay for the current clean up of the Russian nuclear waste ship Lepse. What happened to Norway saying that they weren’t going to pay for cleaning up Russia’s nuclear messes anymore? And, why isn’t BankWatch.org watching this EBRD project?

Western countries have paid billions through the years to help poor little Russia cleanup its radioactive messes, with the United States apparently paying the most. Regardless of whether or not the US is currently paying, the US (taxpayer) is paying with its debt burden. A sucker is born every minute!

John Bolton testified to the US Senate in 2004:
The United States is completing a multiyear effort to dismantle Russian decommissioned strategic nuclear submarines, with $372 million funded to date.

In addition, to assist our Global Partnership colleagues, we have authorized the use of equipment belonging to the U.S. program by other countries to dismantle Russia’s general-purpose nuclear-powered submarines.

Under the Global Partnership, Canada, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are or will soon be providing substantial contributions for nuclear submarine dismantlement and related activities for the safe handling and storage of their associated nuclear and radioactive waste.” (John Bolton, June 15, 2004)

John Bolton’s Curious Appearance In A Russian Gun Rights Video” March 22, 20185:01 AM ET https://www.npr.org/2018/03/22/595897412/john-boltons-curious-appearance-in-a-russian-gun-rights-video Video still available here: https://youtu.be/EytAMUUH9Yc

Russia, eyeing Arctic future, launches nuclear icebreaker
Posted:Sat, 25 May 2019 14:06:41 -0400
Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential
. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/8MivwYi1src/russia-eyeing-arctic-future-launches-nuclear-icebreaker-idUSKCN1SV0E4

Excerpt from “Work on removing nuclear waste from 85-years old ship has started in Russia’s north: The compartment with hundreds of partly damaged spent fuel elements is taken into a shelter to minimize the risk in case of radioactive leakages“, By Thomas Nilsen May 23, 2019:
Both neighbouring Norway and the European Union have financially and technically assisted Russia with securing the nuclear waste ship and preparing for the work now started. Expenses for the shelter and robotics are co-financed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.” Barents Oberver via https://nuclear-news.net/2019/05/25/a-high-risk-operation-removing-spent-nuclear-fuel-from-russian-ship-lepse

Bellona reported in 2003:
World Funding Pours Into Russia for Nuclear Cleanup and Sub Dismantling: It may have taken more than a year to kick-start the $20-billion pledges made at the Kananaskis, Canada, Group of Eight industrialized nations conference of June 2002, but, at last, some of the international funding spigots to help Russia deal with radioactive waste from its vast arsenal of decommissioned submarines and other radioactive hazards are opening“. By Charles Digges, Published on July 16, 2003.  Read the article here: https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/radioactive-waste-and-spent-nuclear-fuel/2003-07-world-funding-pours-into-russia-for-nuclear-cleanup-and-sub-dismantling

While we say “a sucker is born every minute“, this almost certainly had to do with oil and gas companies involved in Russia, including the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

More testimony from John Bolton: “At their June, 2002, Summit in Kananaskis, G-8 Leaders pledged to raise up to $20 billion to be spent over ten years for nonproliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism, and nuclear safety projects in the states of the former Soviet Union. This commitment attempts to prevent terrorists or states that support them from acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction, missiles, and related materials, equipment and technology./ The Global Partnership accomplished a great deal in the past two years, making progress towards its commitment to raise up to $20 billion, expanding participation, laying solid groundwork for cooperation, advancing current programs, and launching new projects. This United States initiative attempts to leverage our G-8 partners to match our own billion-dollar-per-year programs. / To date, the seven other G-8 states and the European Union have pledged about $6.5 billion. In addition, Russia plans to spend $2 billion of its own funds. Six new donors that joined in 2003 — Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and Sweden — have committed about $210 million. Concrete results are now appearing in projects underway or about to begin with funding mobilized from the Partnership. The United States considers the $20 billion goal of the Global Partnership to be a floor and not a ceiling. We made this position quite clear at Kananaskis and subsequently, and more recently in the President’s February NDU speech. We hope to persuade our G-8 colleagues to consider it the same….
Nuclear submarine dismantlement. The United States is completing a multiyear effort to dismantle Russian decommissioned strategic nuclear submarines, with $372 million funded to date. In addition, to assist our Global Partnership colleagues, we have authorized the use of equipment belonging to the U.S. program by other countries to dismantle Russia’s general-purpose nuclear-powered submarines. Under the Global Partnership, Canada, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are or will soon be providing substantial contributions for nuclear submarine dismantlement and related activities for the safe handling and storage of their associated nuclear and radioactive waste.
Securing nuclear materials. Disposing, securing and preventing the further production of fissile materials is key to our global efforts to keep terrorists or threatening states from acquiring or manufacturing a nuclear weapon. This area is a priority for the United States, Canada, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom…
.” John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC June 15, 2004 https://2001-2009.state.gov/t/us/rm/33615.htm

Congressional Research Service “The Evolution of Cooperative Threat Reduction: Issues for Congress“: “After the United States and Russia failed to reach an agreement on the extension of the original umbrella agreement, they agreed to continue cooperation under a bilateral protocol to the Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Program in the Russian Federation (MNEPR) Agreement. The MNEPR was negotiated to allow European partners to give funds to nonproliferation and radiological clean-up projects in Russia under the G-8 Global Partnership.” https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R43143.pdf

China is also the biggest foreign shareholder in Russia’s Arctic liquefied natural gas projects, for which the development of shipping along the Northern Sea Route will be critical“, excerpt from: “Russian-Chinese relations are warming the Arctic: If the Kremlin meets its goal of transforming the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route into a bustling commercial shipping passage, it may end up having China to thank“, by Charles Diggs, May 24, 2019 Read the article here: https://bellona.org/news/arctic/2019-05-russian-chinese-relations-are-warming-the-arctic

Excerpt from US government document reference by Charles Diggs, in the above article:
SPECIAL TOPIC: CHINA IN THE ARCTIC
China has increased activities and engagement in the Arctic region since gaining observer status on the Arctic Council in 2013. In January 2018, China published its first Arctic strategy that promoted a “Polar Silk Road” and self-declared China to be a “Near-Arctic State.” The strategy identifies China’s interests as access to natural resources, securing Arctic SLOCs, and promoting an image of a “responsible major country” in Arctic affairs. The strategy highlights China’s icebreaker vessels and research stations as integral to its implementation.

China maintains research stations in Iceland and Norway and operates one Ukrainian-built icebreaking research vessel, the Xuelong, which in 2017 completed its 8th Arctic expedition and became the first Chinese official vessel to traverse Canada’s Northwest Passage. In 2016, China commissioned the first of a new series of “ice-capable” patrol boats. In late September 2018, the Xuelong completed its 9th Arctic expedition. In September, China also launched its second icebreaking research vessel, the domestically built Xuelong 2. The Xuelong 2 will be able to break ice 1.5 meters thick, compared to the original Xuelong’s maximum of 1.2 meters. Furthermore, the Xuelong 2 is the first polar research vessel that can break ice while moving forwards or backwards.

Arctic border countries have raised concerns about China’s expanding capabilities and interest in the region. The government of Denmark has publicly expressed concern about China’s interest in Greenland, which has included proposals to establish a research station in Greenland, establish a satellite ground station, renovate airports, and expand mining. Civilian research could support a strengthened Chinese military presence in the Arctic Ocean, which could include deploying submarines to the region as a deterrent against nuclear attacks. In September 2018, a Russian expert at the Russian International Affairs Council stated the Russian Federation was strongly opposed to foreign icebreakers operating on the Northern Sea Route, including U.S. and Chinese icebreakers. Outside potential friction over the Northern Sea Route, the Arctic region is an area of opportunity for Sino-Russian commercial cooperation, in addition to energy development and infrastructure projects such as the Yamal liquefied natural gas project.https://media.defense.gov/2019/May/02/2002127082/-1/-1/1/2019_CHINA_MILITARY_POWER_REPORT.pdf

Russia begins removing spent nuclear fuel rods from its most radioactive ship: Officials at the Nerpa Shipyard near Murmansk said they have begun removing hundreds of spent nuclear assemblies, many of them damaged from what was once the country’s most radioactive nuclear fuel service ship, the Lepse, by Charles Diggs, May 22, 2019. Read article here: https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2019-05-russia-begins-removing-spent-nuclear-fuel-rods-from-its-most-radioactive-ship

Russia Launches New Icebreaker As It Seeks To Dominate Arctic May 26, 2019 04:24 GMT By RFE/RL https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-launches-new-icebreaker-as-it-seeks-to-dominate-arctic-as-ice-retreats/29963437.html


A polar bear looks out over a barrier island on the Arctic coast of Alaska. These islands are important habitat for the polar bear. Photo Credit: USFWS

Greenpeace Arctic oil spill photo water trees