The pilot project of NATO on retrieval of radioactive waste in the military programs of the former USSR was recently completed in the Zhytomyr Oblast. After radioactive waste transfer to Kyiv Interregional Special Combine, the territory of the burial was remediated.
The radioactive waste burial in the Zhytomyr Oblast was built in the Former USSR on the territory of former military unit No. 83330 that was a missile site of strategic nuclear forces of the USSR. The site placed nuclear weapons: radiation sources were used to calibrate devices according to different measurement ranges and radiation types.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine signed the Implementing Agreement with NATO Support Agency (NSPA) in order to transfer the territory of the burial into an environmentally safe state. The pilot project of radioactive waste retrieval from Vakulenchuk burial was implemented and its territory was remediated within this Agreement.
A set of activities was performed under this Project. Radioactive waste was retrieved from both burial building and the site (adjacent territories). Further, the building was dismantled, the site was remediated and final radiation survey was performed. A part of radioactive waste in form of spent radiation sources was transported for storage to Kyiv Interregional Special Combine. Solid radwaste in form of reinforced concrete structures of the burial and cemented liquid radwaste was transferred for disposal to Buryakivka RWDS in Chornobyl exclusion zone.
The radiation background of remediated territories complies with the standard at present. The experience gained will be further used in the next projects on radwaste retrieval from legacy storage facilities including waste in military programs of the former USSR.
Uatom.org editorial board