Problems and lessons learned

A comprehensive analysis of the status and existing problems in the field of RAW management in Ukraine was carried out in 2006-2007 within the framework of the TACIS project — U4.03/04: Development of the National Strategy and Concept for State Programme for Radioactive Waste

Management in Ukraine, including a Strategy for National Company Ener — goatom Radioactive Waste Management. The results of the project imple­mentation were published in Shestopalov et al. (2008) and the following conclusions regarding radioactive waste management in Ukraine were made (as of 2008).

Ukraine has accumulated significant amounts of RAW. The volume of waste and the rate of its accumulation will continue to grow in the future due to the extension of the operating period and decommissioning of the existing units and commissioning of new NPP units. The contribution of NPP to the current accumulation of RAW in Ukraine is about 95%. In general, wastes have not been sorted or reprocessed taking into account the need for further conditioning and disposal. Separation of waste into short­lived and long-lived is not carried out at NPPs.

Unprocessed RAW from the non-nuclear sector continues to accumulate without being buried. Safety of the already buried waste has not been con­firmed. The issues of storage and disposal of vitrified HLW as a result of reprocessing in the Russian Federation of Ukrainian NPP SF and long-lived waste of Chernobyl origin have not been addressed. The existing system of RAW management is not focused on the final disposal of all types and categories of RAW. The organization responsible for developing and imple­menting the technical policy in the field of RAW disposal has not been identified.

Stable funding of the design, construction and operation of infrastructure facilities for RAW management has not been ensured, and a special state fund for RAW management has not been established. The existing classifi­cation of RAW in Ukraine ensures the safety of RAW management at the stages of their collection and storage, but is economically inefficient in terms of achieving its ultimate objective the safe disposal of RAW. This is particu­larly true regarding the problems of disposal of the large amounts of waste of Chernobyl origin, which contain significant amounts of long-lived radionuclides.

The amount of funding for RAW management provides the minimum acceptable level of safety. State investment in RAW management infrastructure upgrades is virtually zero and a reassessment of the safety of storage facilities has not been made. Production of containers for the storage of RAW has only commenced in recent years. However, trans­portation of waste has not yet been provided by licensed transport containers.

Most of the problems of RAW management in Ukraine arose due to the lack of a single state policy that would allow a systematic solution to the problems of RAW management (including disposal) and the problems of stable funding.

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