Information campaign on Amnesty Program for «Abandoned» Sources of Ionizing Radiation launches in Dnipropetrovsk Region

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In order to inform citizens about the potential threat to their lives and health from contact with «abandoned» sources of ionizing radiation, reduce the number of «abandoned» SIR and minimize terrorist threats with the support of the US Government, the project «Work with the public and information campaign on the Amnesty Program for ionizing radiation sources» was launched. This was announced at an online press conference held on June, 15 at IA «Most-Dnepr».

Dnipropetrovsk region was chosen as a pilot region as one of the most industrially developed regions of the country, because in the early 90s during the economic crisis many industrial enterprises went bankrupt and could not transfer sources of ionizing radiation used in production for storage to specialized enterprises.

According to Serhii Kalashnyk, Head of SAUEZM, on December 30, 1986, Ukraine ratified the International Convention on the Operational Notification of the IAEA. Ukraine is obliged to inform the IAEA of any fact of unauthorized possession or management of radwaste and SIR. Since 2006, international partners through technical support projects have helped Ukraine conduct several campaigns to collect sources of ionizing radiation and transfer them for further long-term storage to specialized enterprises. Now this work will continue.

«I sincerely thank the US State Department and the Oakridge National Laboratory for technical support, who are our reliable partners and help Ukraine on its way to a radiation-safe environment, and the Chornobyl Institute for Research and Development for implementation of this project. «Abandoned» sources of ionizing radiation pose a potential threat to both humans and nature. If citizens are informed, they will be able to keep safe, as well as know where to go if such sources are found», - said Serhii Kalashnyk, the head of SAUEZM, on behalf of the beneficiary.

«Some part of the «historically lost» sources lies somewhere. Those who own them may not even know what those devices are. And some may know, but are afraid to report. Therefore, this campaign is not only about sources of ionizing radiation in the Dnipropetrovsk region. It is about the formation of an environment in which the management of radioactive
components is treated responsibly. This is how we increase nuclear safety in the region», - said Serhii Berezan, Director of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration.

«Any interaction of non-specialists with ionizing radiation sources, and moreover attempts to disassemble them, leads to local radiation accidents, because the devices contain materials of different power with alpha, beta, gamma and neutron radiation. Then we have to eliminate the leaks of man-made radiation, conduct complex research and spend money on disposal of not only the source itself, but also items and property that are contaminated. Therefore, it is better to get rid of such sources safely and correctly, informing experts. Moreover, criminal liability in the case of voluntary notification of the presence of SIR is abolished», - said the director of the Dnieper interregional special combine of the State Specialized Enterprise «Radon Association» Victor Svidersky.

«Our goal is to give simple answers to complex questions and show citizens and everyone involved in the system of control and management of radwaste and SIR, the algorithm of action. Our campaign will cover everyone, from children and adolescents to heads of services and departments. To do this, we strive to prepare unique informational and explanatory content that will help to understand the need to be aware and learn simple rules of conduct in case of contact with SIR. This will help preserve the life and health that are of the highest value to everyone», - said Olena Salnyk, project manager for the Public Relations and Information Campaign on the Amnesty Program for «Abandoned» Sources of Ionizing Radiation.

The information campaign in Dnipropetrovsk region will last until May 2021.