Ukraine will create an eco-program for radioactive waste: the government has taken the first step shutterstock

Ukraine will create an eco-program for radioactive waste: the government has taken the first step

Katerina Belousova

As of 2020, radioactive waste storage facilities at NPP sites were 20-80% full

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the Concept of the National targeted environmental program for the management of radioactive waste.

The government instructed the State Agency of Ukraine for the Management of the Exclusion Zone to develop a draft environmental program for the management of radioactive waste within a year and submit it to the Cabinet of Ministers for consideration, the Ministry of Environment reports on Facebook.

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Ruslan Strilets, noted that until 2017, there was a corresponding program in Ukraine, but it turned out to be ineffective. Its funding was actually sufficient only for the maintenance of the radioactive waste management infrastructure (RAW).

The new concept provides for:

  • analysis of the state of RAW management in Ukraine and identification of problems;
  • determination of optimal options for creating an effective radioactive waste management system;
  • necessary steps, methods and deadlines for program implementation;
  • expected results and assessment of the financial resources needed to implement the program.

The message explained that the operation of the nuclear power plant, the use of radioactive materials in production, industry, medical and scientific institutions, and the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant led to the accumulation of large volumes of radioactive waste in Ukraine.

As of 2020, storage facilities at NPP sites are 20-80% full. However, they are not designed for long-term storage of radioactive waste.

"Ukraine needs an integral and economically effective system of handling radioactive waste, which would ensure the protection of life and health of the population, personnel and the environment from the effects of ionizing radiation," said Strilets.

He also noted that the situation with radioactive materials is also complicated by the military aggression of the Russian Federation, because part of the radioactively dangerous objects were located in the temporarily occupied territory. Combat operations were and are being conducted near some of them.

"All these factors will be taken into account in the new radioactive waste management program until 2031, the Concept of which was approved by the Government today," Strilets emphasized.

As EcoPolitic reported earlier, the first centralized storage of spent nuclear fuel was opened in the Chernobyl Forest.

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