The main radioactive waste management facilities in the exclusion zone:
The Vektor (stage 1 and 2)
The Vector site is located in the exclusion zone at a distance of 11 km in a south-west direction from Chornobyl NPP. The Vector is an industrial complex for decontamination, transport, processing and disposal of radioactive waste. The construction of the complex was started in 1998 and is currently performed in two stages:
- Vektor Stage 1
- Vektor Stage 2
The Vektor was constructed to minimize the environmental hazard related to the territories contaminated by radiation resulting from the Chornobyl accident. The Vektor construction has been started in January 1998 in compliance with the design documents that were subjected to the state review and approved by Order of the Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine No. 90 dated 16 June 1997.
The Vektor should ensure:
Stage 1: disposal of short-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste generated resulting from the Chornobyl catastrophe;
Stage 2: processing of long-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste, long-term storage of long-lived high-level radwaste, as well as temporary storage of spent radiation sources.
The Vektor currently includes:
Engineered near-surface disposal facility for solid radwaste (ENSDF Lot-3 accepted to operation in 2008). ENSDF Lot 3 was designed for disposal of 50210 m3 of low-and intermediate-level short-lived radioactive waste from solid radwaste treatment plant (SRTP) and concreted liquid radwaste from liquid radwaste treatment plant (LRTP) at Chornobyl NPP site.
The centralized long-term storage facility for spent radiation sources (CLTSF). CLTSF is designed to accept, identify, sort, process, certify, condition and further store sealed spent radiation sources. The storage facility is designed to store 500000 radiation sources with the total activity of up to 1 million curie during 50 years.
The near-surface disposal facility for solid radioactive waste (SRW-1) is a facility for radioactive waste disposal in reinforced concrete containers (SRW-1) in the amount of 9800 m3 that was constructed and is currently at the stage of licensing.
The near-surface disposal facility for solid radioactive waste (SRW-2) is a module facility for radioactive waste disposal in bulk designed for 9400 m3 radwaste that was constructed and is currently at the stage of licensing.
The building for container preparation for disposal, changing room with laboratory, vehicle washing, infrastructure.
The activities aimed at designing the storage facilities of the Vektor Stage 2 are under performance. The project for construction of a near-surface storage facility for high-level vitrified radioactive waste, which will be returned from the Russian Federation after reprocessing of spent fuel from Ukrainian nuclear power plants, was submitted for review. Near-surface storage facilities for long-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste and near-surface storage facilities for high-level radioactive waste are at the stage of designing.
Radioactive waste disposal points (RWDP Buryakivka, RWDP Pidlisnyi, ChNPP Stage III RWDP)
Facilities for the disposal and confinement of large amount of emergency radioactive waste were constructed in the exclusion zone during the implementation of the priority measures for mitigation of the Chornobyl accident in 1986-1987. These are radioactive waste disposal sites: RWDP Buryakivka, RWDP Pidlisnyi, ChNPP Stage III RWDP and radioactive waste interim confinement sites (RICS).
RWDP Buryakivka is in operation since 1987. The disposal site consists of 30 near-surface radioactive waste disposal facilities (trenches). Since operation beginning, about 687 000 m of radioactive waste of Chornobyl origin have been stored in RWDP Buryakivka. The possibility to reconstruct the facility due to expiration of RWDP design life is currently under consideration.
RWDP Pidlisnyi and ChNPP Stage III RWDP were constructed in the first years of mitigation of the Chornobyl accident. These facilities stored the most hazardous high-level and long-lived emergency radwaste. Radioactive waste should be retrieved from these facilities and redisposed in a geological repository in the future.
Radioactive waste interim confinement sites (RICS)
Nine temporary radioactive waste confinement sites (RICS): Yaniv Station, Naftobaza, Pischane Plato, Rudiy Lis, Stara Budbaza, Nova Budbaza, Prypiat, Kopachi, Chystohalivka, with a total area of about 10 hectares are located on the territory of the exclusion zone. Trenches and pits with radioactive waste are located in RICS territories. The activities aimed at survey of RICS territories, maintenance and support of trenches and pits are constantly under performance.
In 2019-2020, the survey of radioactive waste interim confinement sites (RICS) will continue to justify their safety and withdraw radioactive waste from the most hazardous places.