Ukraine, with NATO support, liquidates the radioactive waste storage facility in Kirovohrad region

On September 26, the launch of the project of the Trust Fund for the Elimination of the «Historic» Radioactive Waste (RAW) storage facility, which was formed as a result of the military programs of the former USSR, was announced at the Object «Tsybuleve» (military unit A0981 MoD of Ukraine, village Tsybuleve, Kirovohrad region).

Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze emphasized that cooperation with NATO is important for Ukraine, not only in the military sphere. According to her, safe management of radioactive waste is a matter of national security, and the solution of the inherited problems of the Soviet Union in this area is an important task for our state.

«We already have a positive experience in implementing such projects in Ukraine with the support of NATO. Two years ago, with joint efforts, we successfully liberated «Vakulenchuk» in Zhytomyr region from radioactive materials, and now we are taking a new object in Kirovohrad region. It is important for us to continue work in this direction, because such projects contribute to reducing the negative impact of radionuclides on the environment and improving the overall state of radiation safety in Ukraine», - Vitalii Petruk, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management (SAUEZM), said.

«Over the course of 18 months, we will work together to release the Object «Tsybuleve» from radioactive waste, in order to minimize its negative impact on the environment. I am sure that this project will be successful», - John Bosmans, program manager for general services and cooperation at the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, said.

The result of the project will be the rehabilitation of the territory where radioactive waste is currently stored, as well as the elimination of the threat of illegal distribution of radioactive materials outside the facility and the reduction of the negative impact of radioactive waste on the environment and population of the region. The experience gained during the project implementation will be used to eliminate other storage facilities and sites of «historical» radioactive waste in Ukraine.

Reference information:
The total cost of the project is 1.5 million euros.
The leading country and donor in this project is the Federal Republic of Germany.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is the executive agency and is responsible for all aspects of project management before its completion, in accordance with the policy of the NATO Trust Fund.
Ukraine's coordinator and beneficiary in the area of radwaste management is SAUEZM.
The implementation of the project will take place in the following stages:
1. Radiation inspection of the object, study of historical information of the site with conducting radiological and environmental studies.
2. Preparation of a technical solution, pre-treatment of radioactive waste, extraction, conditioning, packaging in appropriate containers and transport to the places of disposal.
3. Reclamation of the territory of the object, restoration of the territory to its original state.

The background of the project
In Ukraine, there are objects on the territory of which during the 1960s-1990s the Armed Forces of the former USSR in the specialized repositories (cemeteries) buried radioactive waste that was formed as a result of the execution of military programs of the former USSR. The liquidation of these radioactive waste storage facilities, reduction of their negative impact on the environment and population and bringing the area of the objects to an eecologically safe state is carried out with the financial support and assistance of NATO.

To create the legal conditions for the implementation of Ukraine's assistance projects, on February 8, 2013 was signed and on June 17, 2015 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Implementation Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Organization (NAMSO) on the re-containment of radioactive wastes formed as a result of the implementation of military programs of the former USSR in Ukraine (Law of Ukraine No. 526-VIII dated June 17, 2015).

In the framework of the Implementation Agreement, Ukraine, in cooperation with NATO in 2016, initiated and successfully implemented a pilot project for the disposal of "historical" waste. The "Vakulenchuk" facility of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (town of Vakulenchuk, Zhytomyr region) was designated as the first burial ground by the degree of danger. The project for its elimination was successfully completed during 2016-2017 with the help of NATO.

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