Ukraine approves new law cutting back on nuclear waste disposal safety

radioactiev waste

Foreign companies will be allowed to dispose of it’s nuclear waste in Ukraine, according to the new bill the Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada signed today in an overwhelming 229 Yes vote result.

The Verkhovna Rada supported the bill No. 6089 “On Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Improvement of Legislation Regarding the Management of Radioactive Waste”, which provides for the introduction of four classes of radioactive waste – very low-active, low-active, medium-active and highly active, to be placed in a repositories with an appropriate level of protection.

This is the third time the bill is introduced to Rada by Speaker Andrey Parubiy – on two previous occasions the bill did not get enough motes since many representatives feared that Ukraine would be turned into “nuclear burial ground of Europe and United States”

According to the “Radical Party” MP Igor Mosiychuk, the bill benefits only “foreign companies” who now have a perfect “dumping ground” for their nuclear waste.

“Our faction has always supported all bills that are aimed at nuclear safety, but in the context of this bill, I have a specific question for the Minister of Ecology, who presented it.” As it is about dumping nuclear waste in Ukraine and attracting foreign companies, our faction worries about whether foreign companies will import nuclear waste here and whether Ukraine will turn Ukraine into a nuclear burial ground of Europe and the world, “Mosychuk said.

It should be noted that at present Ukrainian legislation provides for the separation of radioactive waste into two categories – short-lived, which the state controls up to 300 years, as well as long-lived ones, which should be under state control for more than 300 years.

According to the explanatory note, the experts of the European Union have calculated that for the disposal of all radioactive waste of Ukraine under this division, approximately 750 billion UAH is needed, which is too much for the country. Therefore, it was suggested to divide the wastes according to their activity into four classes and place them in special storage facilities of the appropriate type – surface, near-surface, storage facilities for radioactive waste disposal at medium depths and geological repositories.

The surface storage provides for storage in a “building, trenches”- on the surface or at a depth of several tens of meters. The storehouse at medium depths assumes an arrangement at a distance of several tens to hundreds of meters from the surface. The geological repository is located at a depth of several hundred meters or more.

“Experts from the European Union proposed to modify the existing classification of radioactive waste for disposal – to divide radioactive waste into classes in accordance with the criteria for the acceptability of radioactive waste disposal in four types of storage facilities: in surface, near-surface, intermediate depths, in a geological repository. The introduction of these classification will make burying nuclear waste ten times cheaper” the bill said.