Implementation of New EC Project Continues: Fruitful Outcomes

A number of meetings took place at the State Nuclear Regulatory inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) on 12 and 13 June 2017 to discuss the implementation of each of the seven Components under the New Cooperation Project with the European Commission (EC). The project is aimed at strengthening the SNRIU role in regulatory activity of nuclear energy use, licensing and analysis of severe accidents at nuclear facilities.

The project was launched in December 2017 and would be implemented within three years with a budget over 5.5 mln. Euros. 

Experts of the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SSTC NRS) and SNRIU from Ukraine are involved into this project. The international company Riskaudit, Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety of France (IRSN), Society for Reactor Safety of Germany (GRS), Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) and others from the EC took part. 

SSTC NRS officer Oleksandr Kukhotsky told about Component A implementation. The main task of the Component is to strengthen the SNRIU capabilities in licensing new nuclear facilities except nuclear power plants. This will be done through experience feedback with the EU countries.

Component A includes four separate tasks. Task 1 is related to the improvement of the regulatory framework for the construction of a nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Ukraine. Task 2 is a logical continuation of Component B under UK/TS/49 project, but this time it concerns directly the strengthening of the national nuclear regulator’s capabilities in the inspection and oversight of the new nuclear research subcritical assembly “Neutron Source”. Task 3 is devoted to spent fuel management and storage in the light of the lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Task 4 deals with improvement of the regulatory framework for nuclear research facilities. In particular, this task deals with revision of the document “General Safety Provisions for Nuclear Research Facilities” and development of a new regulation for analysis of operational experience and investigation of operational events at nuclear research facilities.

During the first six months of project implementation, full-time work started under Task 1, 2 and 3. SSTC NRS experts developed reports on revision of the regulatory framework taking into account the realities for each of these tasks. After that, EC experts provided their own comments and suggestions on how to improve the situation in each area.

“Considering that the centralized spent fuel storage facility is currently under construction in Ukraine and the licensing process for the neutron source is underway, SNRIU support in licensing new nuclear facilities is very important. At the same time, European experience to improve the national regulatory framework will contribute to improvement of nuclear and radiation safety in Ukraine”, Oleksandr Kukhotsky underlined.

Head of the SNRIU Radioactive Waste Management Safety Department Volodymyr Datsenko shared the implementation details of Component F. The main objective of the Component is to support regulatory activities under the implementation of modern safe radioactive waste management technologies and remediation of contaminated areas.  

The component consists of three tasks. Active work under one of them is currently under way. SSTC NRS representatives and EC experts develop proposals on a regulatory decision to determine further management strategy of the emergency radwaste legacy disposal site near the town of Kropyvnytskiy in Kirovohrad oblast, where unknown persons carried out unauthorized excavation on the territory with radioactively contaminated materials near Veselivske clay pit in 2017. This radwaste as generated in 1988 after the accident mitigation on the territory of the Kirovohradbud Trust.

SSTC NRS experts carried out more detailed surveys of this facility and prepared their findings. Archive information on the facility state was also collected. According to these archive data, about 1200 m³ of legacy radwaste was disposed on this territory.

SSTC NRS and European experts consider recommendations on further legacy waste management under Component F: administrative control over the facility, redisposal of or limited access to radioactive materials and territory remediation around the facility, if necessary. After that, the SNRIU will make an appropriate regulatory decision and send it to the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management. The further emergency radwaste management strategy will be specified as a result. Editorial Board