Cooperation with NATO

Radioactive waste storage facility “Vakulenchuk” was eliminated in Zhytomyr region

A pilot project on liquidation of the “Vakulenchuk” radioactive waste burial ground was successfully implemented, in the framework of international technical assistance in Zhytomyr region, with the assistance of the NATO Trust Fund.

One of the priority tasks for the security of our state is to transfer the storage facilities from the regions of Ukraine. It was announced by the Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management Vitalii Petruk, during a press conference on the occasion of the completion of the project of the NATO Trust Fund for the disposal of radioactive waste from former Soviet military facilities.

The liquidation of the storage facility has significantly increased the security of one of the regions of Ukraine - in fact more than 30 tons of radioactive materials were removed and transported to licensed storage facilities.

“Our task is to ensure that in the future all radioactive waste is concentrated in the Exclusion Zone. However, while there is no fund for radioactive waste management, lack of funding will slow down the realization of this goal”, - said Vitalii Petruk.

According to Ostap Semerak, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, one of the objectives of the project was to increase the level of environmental safety, reduce the level of radiation threat and prevent the use of ionizing sources for terrorist purposes.

“Today we can confidently say that the project has been successfully implemented. Tight deadlines were met, taking into account the rules of radiation safety and the requirements of environmental legislation. Ukraine has fulfilled a part of its international commitments and has become more environmentally friendly”, - Ostap Semerak noted.

The Minister thanked the partners of Ukraine from the NATO office and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for their cooperation, emphasizing that it is very important for Ukraine to feel the support of our strategic partners in conditions of external aggression.

“We are aware and highly appreciate the efforts aimed at eliminating terrorist threats, raising the level of security, as well as improving the environmental situation”, - said Ostap Semerak.

According to the Head of the NATO Mission in Ukraine Alexander Vinnikov, the completion of this project is an important achievement made by the joint efforts of Ukraine and NATO.

“The value of this project cannot be overestimated. We managed not only to solve the problem of liquidation of radioactive waste located at the “Vakulenchuk” facility, but also to provide rehabilitation of the territory where radioactive waste was stored, eliminating their further negative impact on the environment. We are currently considering opportunities to continue cooperation in this area and evaluate the necessary resources and mechanisms. Successful implementation of this project is a valuable contribution of allies and partners of Alliance in ensuring environmental safety in Ukraine for future generations”, - said Alexander Vinnikov.

For performing works at the facility, the contracting organization of LLC “NT-Engineering”, which carried out work on the removal of radioactive waste (RW) from the storage "Vakulenchuk" in the form of spent sources of ionizing radiation and their transportation to the storage point of RW of the SSE “Kyiv SISC” of State Corporation “Ukrainian State Association “Radon”. Work was also carried out on the removal and fragmentation of solid RW (reinforced concrete structures of the storage facility), the transfer of liquid RW, pumped from the storage, into a solid state by cementing them and transferring these RW to bury it at the Buryakivka storage point of RW in the Exclusion Zone.

We remind that this project was implemented within the framework of the Implementation Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the NATO Support and Procurement Organization (NSPO) on the reburial of radioactive waste which occurred from the implementation of military programs of the former USSR in Ukraine. The agreement was signed on 8 February 2013 and ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 17 June 2015.

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