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Ukraine Strategy for Radioactive Waste

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The Ukrainian government has approved a national strategy for the safe handling and disposal of radioactive waste that has accumulated across the country. Implementation of the plan is expected to start in 2010 and continue for 50 years.

Radioactive Waste Accumulation

At the beginning of 2009, Ukraine had accumulated 2,724,7 thousand cubic meters of solid radioactive waste, including:

  • 1,913 thousand cubic meters in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
  • 600 thousand cubic meters within the Chernobyl Sarcophagus
  • 171 thousand cubic meters from the decontamination of waste disposal sites
The country has also accumulated 42.1 thousand cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste, including:

  • 20,000 cubic meters at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
  • 18,570 cubic meters at other nuclear power plants
Ukraine's Strategy for Dealing with Radioactive Waste

  • Stage 1 (8 years): Establish a national organization for radioactive waste management, removal of radioactive waste from storage plants, establish a container fleet, construct and commission storage facilities for the disposal of short-lived, low- and intermediate level waste and the storage of highly active and long-lived, low- and intermediate level wastes.
  • Stage 2 (30 years): Provide for the burial of short-lived, low- and intermediate level wastes, construct and commission a repository for the disposal of high-level, long-lived, low- and intermediate level wastes and develop technologies for the removal of waste from within the original Sarcophagus at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Stage 3: Complete the disposal of waste from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the Sarcophagus. This involves deep processing of radioactive wastes on the sites of nuclear power plants, conditioning and storage of radioactive waste containers with further transport to a central repository, the creation of a certified container fleet and the capacity to produce the vehicles, etc.
The entire project is expected to cost 35.8 billion UAH ($4.32 billion US). For Stage 1, 4.9 billion UAH will be provided from the state budget, the State Fund of Radioactive Waste Management, producers of radioactive waste, international organizations and voluntary contributions.