New Approach to Radioactive Waste Classification

On 7 November 2021, the Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine for Improvement of Legislation on Radioactive Waste Management” entered into force following two years after its publication.

From now on, a radioactive waste (radwaste) classification system that complies with international safety standards has been introduced in Ukraine. According to this system, radwaste is referred to an appropriate class determined by regulations and standards on nuclear and radiation safety.

Hence, all radwaste is divided into:

  • very low-level waste
  • low-level waste
  • intermediate-level waste
  • high-level waste.

Pursuant to the Law, radwaste shall be stored and disposed only in specially designated radwaste storage facilities of appropriate type determined according to the radwaste class: shallow, near-surface, intermediate-depth, and geological facilities.

According to the explanatory note to the draft Law: “The economic effect from the introduction of the improved classification will be significant: it will be 10 times cheaper to dispose all radwaste in Ukraine, while the level of human and environmental safety will not reduce and will meet internationally recognized standards”.