Acting Head of SAUEZM reported on Agency's activities in 2019 and presented plans for 2020

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In the opening speech, acting Head of the SAUEZM Kateryna Pavlova noted that Chornobyl experts and the territory are the most valuable and special that is available in the SAUEZM. Almost 6,000 employees and over 2,600 square kilometers of the territory.

«I have an opportunity to dedicate several years of my life to the SAUEZM and I know many features of the Agency's functioning. I understand that I must create decent conditions and motivation for all valuable employees for effective activity of the SAUEZM and its enterprises, as well as a culture of quality relationships», -she said.

In 2019, the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management worked on realization of the main tasks, in particular, decommissioning of the Chornobyl NPP and transformation of the Shelter Object into an ecologically safe system, overcoming the consequences of the Chornobyl disaster, radioactive waste management and implementation of state policy in the area of managing the exclusion zone and the zone of unconditional (mandatory) resettlement.

So, last year, comprehensive testing of New Safe Confinement systems and equipment was completed, and appropriate documentation was received regarding its readiness for commissioning. In addition, a comprehensive «cold» testing of the dry-type spent nuclear fuel storage facility (SNF-2) was completed. In 2020, the work will be directed to obtaining a separate permit from the SNRCU for the experimental and industrial operation of the NSC launch complex (PK-1), and for SNF-2 scheduled start and completion of complex «hot» tests.

An important part of the work was the Agency's regulations making. In particular, the Law of Ukraine on the improvement of legislation in the field of radioactive waste management. Adoption of the law will allow the introduction of a modern system of classification of radwaste that meets all international safety standards.

Decree of the President of Ukraine «On some issues of development of territories that were contaminated by the Chornobyl disaster». There were also several resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine that allowed to amend the list of economic entities in which the departmental fire protection was created, the procedure of using the funds provided in the state budget for maintaining the safe condition of the power units and the Shelter object and implementing measures to prepare for the decommissioning of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and rehabilitate the transport infrastructure of the Exclusion zone.

According to Kateryna Pavlova, in 2020 considerable attention will be paid to the support of bills that were developed to implement Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 512 of 10.07.2019 «On some issues of development of territories that were contaminated by the Chornobyl disaster».

Thus, the adoption of draft bills will allow to review the legal regime of radioactively contaminated territories, to regulate the functioning and development of territories and objects of the nature reserve fund within the Chornobyl Reserve, to increase the responsibility for violating the requirements of the radiation safety regime and to improve the mechanism of organization of visits to the Exclusion zone.

Regarding the implementation of another task - management in the sphere of radioactive waste, in 2020 it is planned to complete the «hot» testing of the CSSSIR, liquidation of the repository for radioactive waste «Tsybuleve», as well as the beginning of works on transportation of high-level waste from Odessa branch SSE «Association «Radon»to a specialized repository in the Exclusion zone.

In 2019, the SAUEZM carried out works on 22 international technical assistance projects donated by the US Government, the Government of Japan, the European Commission, the GEF/UNEP, the IAEA, the EBRD.

In the area of international cooperation in 2020, the main activity will be focused on the preparation and implementation of the thematic panel of Ukraine during the 64th session of the IAEA General Conference in 2020 and carrying out of the IAEA expert mission on integrated examination of the programs of radioactive waste management and SNF, decommissioning and environmental rehabilitation - ARTEMIS.

Last year, 124,000 tourists visited the Exclusion zone. Also, new tourist routes have been developed and an e-ticket has been introduced for efficiency and transparency of the visit processes.

According to the acting Head of the SAUEZM Kateryna Pavlova, 2020 should be the year of successful implementation of the Magnet project «Chornobyl. Revival», launching a new brand of the Exclusion Zone, digitizing tourist routes. Also, it is planned to implement a project on creation of an international scientific hub in the Exclusion zone, with the aim of conducting scientific researches and development of science on Chornobyl topic.

«Compliance with the principles of transparency in activities, namely the complete digitization of all processes at SAUEZM and the enterprises of the Exclusion zone, will help to improve the analysis of the effectiveness of our joint work and the efficient use of funds. Chornobyl in a smartphone is not only a reality but also a requirement of the time», - noted Kateryna Pavlova.

So, in 2020, the Agency's plans are to improve the portal and extend the functionality for submitting applications for special permits for any activities in the Exclusion zone. Expanding the workflow will increase transparency and efficiency.