Knowledge about the amount of marine litter in the area, including how vessels handle their waste, is limited. It is therefore difficult to calculate the amount of litter respectively delivered to waste stations on land, burned on board of ships or dumped in the sea.
The major source of marine litter is discharges of waste from ships. The amount of litter along the Norwegian coast is used as an indicator to measure the level of the litter problem. Monitoring done at tree beaches at Svalbard shows a decreasing trend of waste from 2001 to 2008, but the data material is not good enough to draw any conclusions (Figure 4.4.16).
On the Russian side, in Kislaya bay of the Kola gulf large areas of the sea bottom are covered with debris dumped from ships.
The safety of operating NPPs in the North (the Kola Nuclear Power Plant in particular). In 2006-2008 the greatest part of the Norwegian support has gone into improving and maintaining the safety at the Kola NPP (Action plan, 2009). In 2002 a report on the assessment of potential long-term consequences of hypothetical accidents at Kola NPP was published under the joint Russian-Norwegian Expert Group (NRPA, 2002).
Development, use and export of Floating Nuclear Power Plants (FNPP) in the Arctic, FNPPs are being developed at least partly as commercial products and estimates of planned units are difficult to make. The FNPP’s may be operated for a variety of purposes: civilian power/heat generation, provision of a power for desalination of salt water, etc (see Ch. 5.2).
The oil and gas industry can be a major source of “technologically enhanced naturally occurring materials” (TENORM) through the discharge of produced water and descaling activities. Recent assessments suggest that this industry is likely to expand in the Arctic.
Other issues are the presence of nuclear powered military and civilian vessels operating in the region, nuclear icebreakers and their associated facilities, transport of nuclear materials through the region.
Possible effects of climate change on distribution and contents of radioactive substances are described in Ch. 4.6.