Sergii Kalashnyk, Head of SAUEZM, during the INUDECO International Conference told about the main prospects for the development of the exclusion zone

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Serhiy Kalashnyk, Head of SAUEZM, took part in the International Online Conference «Problems of Decommissioning of Nuclear Energy Facilities and Environmental Restoration» INUDECO 2020. The event is held to consider problems and prospects of cooperation and exchange of experience in decommissioning of nuclear facilities and radioactive waste and spent nucler fuel management.

During the conference, the Head of the Agency informed on the main functions assigned to the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, namely: barrier function, radioactive waste management, decommissioning of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and overcoming the consequences of the Chornobyl disaster.

Also, during the conference, the Head of SAUEZM said that the fires in the exclusion zone, which began at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic, became a test of the speed and effectiveness of the response to emergencies of such magnitude. In particular, he noted that due to quarantine measures in the exclusion zone at the time of the fire was a limited number of people and this number of forces was not enough to quickly combat the fire.

«The causes of large-scale fires in the exclusion zone were non-fulfillment of the forest management plan for many years, as well as dry winter and spring. As of today, the fire has been virtually eliminated, the total area of forest land affected by the fire is about 20 thousand hectares. Now we use the Belarusian method of flooding peatlands that are smoldering», - Sergii Kalashnyk noted.

During the last two weeks, about 1,000 people from the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES) and 200 employees of the SSE «Pivnichna Pushcha», about 300 units of equipment, worked on the fire containment. Also, heavy engineering equipment was used to create mineralized strips, and airpower was used as well to extinguish fires in hard-to-reach places.

The Head of SAUEZM stressed the importance of the latest adopted amendments to the legislation concerning stay in exclusion zones and unconditional (mandatory) resettlement. In particular, the increase of minimum fines for illegal entry into the exclusion zone from 17 to 51 thousand hryvnias, as well as the introduction of criminal liability for such an offense.

The next initiative proposed by the Head of SAUEZM is to change the status of the exclusion zone, as there are currently some differences in the legislation on the functions of SAUEZM and SES and in the financing of these structures during the fires in the Chornobyl zone.

Another important legislative initiative concerns the Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve, namely the need to change its status from a state institution to a state specialized enterprise. Since the current status limits the activities of the Reserve.

«Also, the issue of the territory area of the Reserve should be resolved. The point here is that today it includes areas that are not part of it, namely roads, borderlands, etc.», - Sergii Kalashnyk noted.

In addition, during his speech, the Head of SAUEZM told about the plans to install a GPS system in the exclusion zone, which will allow to control vehicles and people in the Chornobyl zone area. To realize such control, a single control center must be established. The Head of SAUEZM also noted that one of the methods of effective regulation of people's stay in the exclusion zone could be the introduction of a single system «Smart City».