Main page


Advanced search

main » News» Completion of the Pilot Project for Retrieval of Radioactive Waste generated under Military Programs of the Former USSR from Vakulenchuk Burial in Zhytomyr Oblast and Burial Territory Remediation printer friendly
Completion of the Pilot Project for Retrieval of Radioactive Waste generated under Military Programs of the Former USSR from Vakulenchuk Burial in Zhytomyr Oblast and Burial Territory Remediation

Several legacy storage facilities with radioactive waste generated resulting from military programs of the Former USSR remained on the territory of Ukraine since 70-80s. The transfer of these legacy storage facilities into an environmentally safe state (remediation) by means of radwaste retrieval and further management is envisaged in Task 12 of the National Target Environmental Program for radioactive Waste Management approved by the Law of Ukraine No. 516-VI of 17 September 2008. 

In order of support implementation of this Task, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine signed the Implementing Agreement with NATO Support Agency (NSPA) on Radioactive Waste in the Military Programs of the Former USSR in Ukraine ratified by the Law of Ukraine No. 526-VIII of 17 June 2015.

The pilot project within the Implementing Agreement became retrieval and further management of radwaste coming from the Vakulenchuk burial in Zhytomyr oblast and the territory remediation.      


In order to implement the Pilot Project, the NT-Engineering Company, assigned as the work executor resulting from the tender results carried out by the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) in Ukraine, obtained the SNRIU license No. ОВ 001054 of 29 September 2016 for the right for radioactive waste processing related to radwaste retrieval from the Vakulenchuk burial.

The comprehensive safety assessment of the following documents was carried out under the license issuing process:

The Technical Decision on Radioactive Material Relocation from the Vakulenchuk Legacy Burial to Kyiv Interregional Special Combine, the Safety Analysis Report, the Program for Radioactive Materials Management  implementation of works, as well as other licensing documents submitted by the NT-Engineering Company.


           Resulting from the review, the license conditions specified the following work stages:

           Stage 1 – arrangement of working environment at the site;

           Stage 2 – site planning and creation of process areas;

           Stage 3 – radwaste retrieval from the burial site and detailed radiation survey of storage facility site;

          Stage 4 – radwaste retrieval from the burial building, dismantling of the building, retrieval of liquid radwaste (if available), backfilling;

          Stage 5 – burial site remediation and radiation survey related to remediation criteria achievement.

           Accordingly, NT-Engineering retrieved radioactive waste in the form of spent radiation sources from the Vakulenchuk burial and transported it for storage to SSE Kyiv SISC. The activities related to retrieval and fragmentation of solid radioactive waste in form of reinforced concrete structures of the facility, transfer of liquid radwaste pumped from the facility to solid state through cementing, and transfer of this radwaste for disposal to Buryakivka RWDS were also performed.

The SNRIU also reviewed and agreed the technical decision on management of liquid medium revealed in the Vakulenchuk burial released from radioactive waste that was presented by the Licensee according to the conditions of the issued license.  

The nuclear and radiation safety review of the NT-Engineering Company documents on Stage 5 implementation: Selection and Justification of Remediation Criteria of the Area Released from Radwaste at the Vakulenchuk Burial Site, the of Final Radiation Survey Program, and Technical Decision on Final Remediation of the Burial Site was performed by the SNRIU under the European Commission Project INSC UK/TS/48 with involvement of European experts.

          Annual effective exposure dose not exceeding 10 µSv/year for people who can live in future at- or near the remediated burial site, that complies with requirements fixed in the radiation safety standards of Ukraine was established as the basic criterion for the burial site remediation.

          The experience gained in the result of the pilot project implementation will be further considered in planning, designing and safety assessment under implementation of future projects on radwaste retrieval from legacy storage facilities including radwaste generated under the military programs of the former USSR.