EU INSC Projects in Ukraine
The INSC programme has provided support to:
- The Ukrainian Regulatory Authority (SNRIU) in performing its licensing and inspection activities, and in strengthening its institutional capacity;
- Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management (SAUEZM), and their subordinated Special State Enterprises: SSE Chornobyl NPP, SSE Central Radioactive Waste Management Enterprise, SSE Ecocentre, and SSE RADON Association, who are collectively responsible for the safe management of radioactive waste materials in Ukraine;
- The Nuclear Operator (NNEGC Energoatom), and their Nuclear Power Plants, in support of an improved and effective nuclear safety culture. However, resulting from the positive findings of a comprehensive joint EC/IAEA/Energoatom safety review on Ukraine’s operational NPP’s, direct support was phased out in 2012. Support on radioactive waste interim storage and disposal continues through the joint Task Force;
- Ministry of Energy of Ukraine and its subordinated State Enterprise Barrier, who are responsible for radiation safety at the former Pridniprovskyi Chemical Plant at Kamyanske in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast;
- Local populations affected by the Chornobyl accident, through the implementation of Social and Horizontal projects.
INSC projects that remain under implementation and those in preparation are mainly for the provision of services, as opposed to equipment supply. Nevertheless, a small number of equipment supply projects are also ongoing and in preparation. This reflects the fact that Energoatom, with support of the EU, together with other donors, has applied significant improvement through the adoption of Western standards for the safe operation of its NPPs.
Considering the approval of the Euratom and the EBRD loan package for the implementation of Energoatom’s Consolidated Safety Upgrade, further support to the Ukraine Nuclear Operator is no longer essential. Support to the RAW and Regulatory sectors remains of high importance and continues within the remaining planned projects of INSC Phase II and the new EI-INSC 2021 to 2027.
Recognising the above, the continued operation of a Joint Support Office (JSO), to support the management of the INSC and EI-INSC is an essential element of the EU Nuclear Safety Programme in Ukraine.
Sector "Support to Operator"
|AAP||Project Ref.||Title||EU Contribution|
|2012||U1.05/12||Cooperative safety programme to enhance safety and endurance of NNEGC Energoatom's nuclear power plants in case of extreme external impacts||€3.000.000,00|
|2010||U1.05/10||Cooperative safety programme to enhance the Operational Effectiveness, Safety Performance and Human Resources' effectiveness of NNEGC Energoatom and its nuclear power plants||€9.000.000,00|
|2009||U1.05/09||Safety programme to enhance the procedural and technical capability and effectiveness of NNEGC and its NPPs||€8.800.000,00|
|2008||U1.05/08||Support to improved operational, maintenance procedures and safety management at Energoatom NPPs||€8.355.000,00|
|2007||U1.05/07A||Safety management in the nuclear power plants of Ukraine "Completion of the national maintenance and management training centre for NNEGC Energoatom personnel at Zaporizhzhia NPP" (On-Site Assistance)||€14.000.000,00|
|2007||U1.05/07||Sector assistance for the development of a strategy for the long-term Ukrainian safety management (Design Safety)||€2.500.000,00|
Sector "Management of radioactive waste, decommissioning and remediation"
|AAP||Project Ref.||Title||EU Contribution|
|2020||U4.01/20A||Options for the long-term management of high-level long-lived radioactive waste currently located at the Pidlisnyi facility||€3.300.000,00|
|2020||U4.01/20C||Design of comprehensive water monitoring system for the ChEZ||€1.700.000,00|
|2020||U4.02/20||EU Phase 3 support to the Pridniprovskiy Chemical Plant Remediation Programme||€5.700.000,00||2019||U4.01/19A||The Integration of Safety Culture and Operational Efficiency within RAW Management Sector of Ukraine||€1.800.000,00|
|2019||U4.01/19B||Support for the creation of an integrated automatic radiation monitoring system covering the whole territory of Ukraine||€4.100.000,00|
|2018||U4.01/18A||Establishment of an appropriate Programme Management Infrastructure inside the State Agency of Ukraine for the Management of the Exclusion Zone||€1.199.170,00|
|2018||U4.01/18B||Modernisation of the dosimetric control system in the Exclusion Zone and environmental (radiation) monitoring at the “Vektor” Complex and the “Buriakivka” disposal facility||€4.200.000,00|
|2016||U4.02/16||Emergency Measures for the Prydniprovskiy Chemical Plant||€3.500.000,00|
|2014||U4.01/14||Infrastructure improvements for management of legacy radioactive waste and nuclear decommissioning in Ukraine||€6.200.000,00|
|2012||U4.01/12||Infrastructure improvement for radioactive waste management, remediation of contaminated sites and decommissioning in Ukraine||€9.100.000,00|
|2011||U4.01/11||Infrastructure improvements for radioactive waste management and decommissioning in Ukraine||€7.600.000,00|
|2010||U4.01/10||Support to radioactive waste management in Ukraine||€9.627.627,00|
|2009||U4.01/09||Support to the establishment of a national waste management organisation and the improvement of the radioactive waste management infrastructure in Urkaine||€5.000.000,00|
|2008||U4.01/08||Improvement of radwaste classification and management in Ukraine||€8.000.000,00|
|2008||U4.02/08||Feasibility Study and Preliminary Design for a near-surface facility for the long-term storage of long-lived and high level radioactive waste at the "Vector" site, in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone||€2.000.000,00|
|2007||U4.02/07||Additional activities for ICSRM project in Chernobyl - Waste management and decommissioning||€1.500.000,00|
Sector "Support to Ukrainian Regulatory Body"
|AAP||Project Ref.||Title||EU Contribution|
|2018||U3.01/18||Support to the Ukrainian Regulatory Authorities||€1.800.000,00|
|2015||U3.01/15||Strengthening of State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) capabilities relevant for the regulation of nuclear activities||€4.500.000,00|
|2014||U3.01/14||Strengthening of State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) capabilities in licensing and severe accident management of Nuclear Installations||€2.000.000,00|
|2012||U3.01/12||Support to the Ukrainian Regulatory Authorities||€2.000.000,00|
|2010||U3.01/10||Assistance to State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine (SNRCU) in regulation of priority issues on safe radioactive waste management and harmonization of regulatory requirements on nuclear and radiation safety||€2.500.000,00|
|2008||U3.01/08||Cooperation with SNRCU for the licensing of radioactive waste management facilities and for the validation of soft on-site assistance (NPP level)||€1.700.000,00|
|2008||U3.02/08||Support SNRCU to implement RODOS in the Information and Emergency Centre of Ukraine||€500.000,00|
|2008||U3.03/08||Support to SNRCU in activities related to NPP safe operations of risk-informed approaches (operation and maintenance), integrated NPP safety oversight system, severe accident analysis and management, regulatory issues about reactor pressure vessel operations||€3.500.000,00|
|2008||U3.04/08||Support to SNRCU in the regulatory activity during commissioning of the radioactive waste processing facilities at Rivne NPP and Zaporizhzhia NPP||€500.000,00|
|2007||U3.01/07||Institutional and technical cooperation with SNRCU to develop their capabilities on the basis of transferred European safety principles and practices (strengthening and cooperating with the nuclear regulators)||€2.800.000,00|
|AAP||Project Ref.||Title||EU Contribution|
|2011||U6.01/11||Health and ecological programmes around the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone||€4.200.000,00|
|AAP||Project Ref.||Title||EU Contribution|
|2019||U7.01/19||Support to the Management of the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) in Ukraine||€3.000.000,00|
|2016||U7.01/16||Support to the Management of the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) in Ukraine||€3.000.000,00|
|2013||U7.01/13||Support to the Management of the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) in Ukraine||€3.000.000,00|
|2008||U7.01/08||Management of the instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation in Ukraine||€3.500.000,00|
Pridniprovskiy Chemical Plant: Uranium Legacy Site
The former Pridniprovskiy Chemical Plant (PCHP), which operated between 1947 and 1992, was one of the largest uranium processing facilities in the former Soviet Union. PCHP processed uranium ores of different geochemical composition that had been mined in Ukraine, Central Asia and East-European countries, such as the Czech Republic and the former Eastern Germany. Resulting from the processing of uranium ores, there are five tailings disposal sites, three industrial waste disposal facilities, and 1 Uranium Storage located both at the PCHP site itself, and near the town of Kamyanske (formally Dniprodzerzhinsk).
Processing activities during its operation, as well as post closure neglect since 1992, have led to widespread radioactive contamination of the site. The results of radiological surveys implemented in 2016, indicate the majority of contamination to be associated with buildings and areas that were utilised for the different stages of uranium ore processing. However, contaminated areas also include former uranium ore storages and tailings facilities, as well as areas of land, which appear to have been contaminated as a result of technological pipelines that leaked during operation.
Following the cessation of uranium processing in 1992 and up until the year 2000, no efforts were made to implement any clean-up, decommissioning or site remediation activities. However, in 2000 the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, who are responsible for the areas of the PCHP Site still under governmental control, established a new State Enterprise (SE Barrier). SE Barrier were licensed by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) for implementation of the remedial activities at the PCHP site.
Due to a significant shortfall in an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework related to such sites and faced with substantial financial difficulties, SE Barrier have made little headway toward site remediation. As a result of SE Barrier’s lack of financing and their resulting inability to meet the license conditions, their license expired and was not extended in 2016. Whilst a limited license was issued in the early part of 2018, it was revoked some months later, but once again reinstated in mid 2019. This continued lack of governmental funding has resulted in the loss of key staff, remaining staff working without salary, inability to maintain an operating license, as well as further degeneration of the site.
It should also be noted that a lack of an appropriate regulatory framework covering the PCHP site, has prevented the Regulatory Authorities from implementing their responsibilities in full.
Much of the site, particularly those buildings, structures and land areas that were utilised for uranium processing, have received little to no maintenance or clean-up of any kind.
Consequently, many of the buildings and structures are in poor condition, with many being open to bad weather conditions, which has been accentuated through vandalism and removal of building materials for sale and recycling. It is also evident that a substantial amount of pipework and other materials have been dismantled and removed from the site. It is assumed that some has been sold within the scrap metal industry. It is unclear if the removed materials were contaminated or posed any radiological hazard. However, it is clear that further vandalism of buildings and/or unauthorised removal of potentially dangerous materials must be prevented in the future.
In addition to the overall poor state of the site itself, several buildings and industrial facilities were re-purposed for other industrial production as state property, whilst several buildings and land areas passed to the private sector via long-term leasing or direct purchase. The reallocation of those buildings was implemented apparently without due consideration to safety of workers that would be employed at these re-purposed and privatised buildings, or to the need for clearance of radiological hazards within buildings previously utilised within the uranium production process.
Since their privatisation, it is evident that the new owners of some buildings have undertaken clean-up activities (including radiological), of their newly acquired premises. There is no evidence to show that this work has been implemented with the appropriate regulatory approvals, with properly engineered solutions, or by authorised radiological workers.
Radiological surveys implemented during 2016 have identified that the most highly contaminated facilities on the site, include several buildings housing former extraction tanks of uranium concentrate, specifically Buildings №103, №104, №2B the former storages for uranium ores, sedimentation settling ponds, and the contaminated land around pipelines where spills of transported radiochemical solutions occurred. Activity concentration of radionuclides (of uranium-thorium decay series) in the areas contaminated by ore residues reach 1-5 Bq/g in contaminated soils to hundreds of Bq/g in spills and residues materials. Equivalent dose rate (EDR) levels for gamma-radiation in the territory of the site range from 0.5 to over 100 µSv/hour on open territory, to levels starting from 0.5 µSv/hour in some buildings housing former uranium extraction plant, with hot spots of up to 4000 µSv/hour.
Before any clean-up activities related to decommissioning and remediation can be implemented, Urgent action to improve site safety and security is required:
- To mitigate the risk of radiological exposure to workers and public
- To take measures to prevent the further spread of the contamination and unauthorised release of radioactive material from the site
- To exercise proper control of the site regarding both radiation safety and site security
The territory of the PCHP site is divided into north and south areas Ref. PCHP Site Map . The north area is relatively uncontaminated by uranium residues while the south area contains all the most contaminated ground, buildings, facilities and plant.
Given that the site contains several significant radiological hazards, it requires up-to-date detailed mapping, full characterisation, and the development of sound site safety analysis, before consideration can be given to commencement of clean up and decommissioning, which will facilitate eventual site remediation.
In the mid to longer term, PCHP will require extensive decontamination and all contaminated materials will need to be permanently and safely managed and ultimately disposed. However, in the immediate future the most urgent task is to improve the safety and security of the PCHP Site, including but not limited to:
- Improvement of legislation and the regulatory framework covering uranium legacy sites in Ukraine
- The control, stabilisation and localization of radiological hazards
- The provision of institutional support to site operator SE Barrier
- The provision of urgently required equipment
Without implementation of these urgent measures on the PCHP Site territory, the safe conditions for workers and public within the immediate areas cannot be assured. There is extensive deterioration of some buildings and structures in which residual process materials are present, easily visible and are accessible to members of the public working at the PCHP Site. In addition, contaminated soil is present in many areas of the site and both tailings facilities located on the site, are known to have damaged caps. Thus, radioactive material is at risk of being dispersed by adverse weather conditions. Furthermore, without ensuring improved security and control over access to the areas of radiological hazard, there remains a high risk that radiologically contaminated materials will be removed from the site and thus present a much wider public health hazard.
Since October 2017, the European Commission has been working with the Ukrainian Authorities, in the delivery of institutional support to SE Barrier, and in particular, improving their preparedness for the application of a site wide license. Overall responsibility for radiological safety at the site, controlled access to contaminated areas and dosimetry of workers (classified and non-classified) will be with SE Barrier as the site Operator. It is anticipated that SE Barrier will be issued a site wide license before the end of 2019.
Since April 2018, the European Commission has been working with the Ukrainian Authorities in the development of improved legislation for the safe management of Nuclear Legacy Sites in Ukraine. It is hoped that new legislation enforcing high levels of radiological safety to be applied at all Nuclear legacy Sites in Ukraine, will be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada sometime in 2020/21. Such legislation will of course empower the SNRIU to oblige all organisations operating at PChP, to work within the regulatory framework.
Following substantial delays, it is anticipated that implementation of the urgent measures to mitigate the risk of further dispersion of radiologically contaminated materials as well as unauthorised access to contaminated buildings and areas will commence in the first quarter of 2020. This work entails the establishment of four controlled areas, to be constructed around the Contaminated buildings, structures and land areas, the establishment of a temporary laydown area and relocation of easy to move and free standing radiological hazards from outside the controlled areas, and the eventual boxing up of the most damaged buildings. With the exception of boxing up it is anticipated this work will be completed within one year.
The EU Programme will also support the upgrade of SE Barriers Analytical laboratory, and supply of updated equipment necessary for the organisation to fulfil its responsibilities and meet the conditions of its license.
It is clear that limited efforts have been made over the past 25 years, to ensure that PCHP is either maintained as a safe and secure Uranium legacy site, or to implement any significant measures toward ensuring site remediation.
However, understanding the importance of ensuring the eventual remediation of the PCHP site, and ensuring the safety of people working at the site and/or living in close proximity to it, the Ukrainian Government have initiated several national and internationally supported programmes and projects.
In 2005, the Ukrainian Government adopted the initial 2005 – 2014 State Ecological Programme for the Remediation of the PCHP Site, which was revised in 2009 and put into force in 2010. Following the expiry of the revised 2010 – 2014 State Ecological Programme, the Government of Ukraine adopted a third State Ecological Programme which expired at the end of 2017. The current programme, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in August 2019 will run until 2023.
The main objective of each State Ecological Programme continues to be: the
Despite the financial difficulties faced by the SE Barrier, this objective is being achieved through implementation of on-site radiological surveys, establishment of a monitoring system of radiological situation both on and off site, and the performance of technical oversight together with maintenance activities at those PCHP facilities that are under the control of SE Barrier.
The international initiatives have been implemented with the aim of:
- Providing improved information regarding the actual nature and status of the PCHP Site, through surveys, inspections and other means
- Performing detailed radiation surveys
- Developing preliminary safety assessments and remediation strategies for some tailing facilities and some of the more contaminated buildings in the industrial zone
- Training of SE Barrier staff and other bodies
- Recommending improvements to the legal and regulatory basis for remediation of this and similar sites
To provide the Ukrainian Government with a technical approach and overall strategy for the overall decommissioning and remediation of the PCHP uranium legacy site.
Project U4.01/10G (INSC Contract NSI/291-798) with the Objective:
was launched and successfully completed by the EC and Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine.
The Project commenced in April 2014 and was completed in December 2016. The project was established with the aim of identifying international best practice in decommissioning, decontamination and ultimate waste disposal for such legacy sites. Utilising identified best practice, the project was also required to develop an approach and strategy for the decommissioning and decontamination activities at the former uranium processing facility. The main project results are:
- Additional survey of radiological situation;
- Overall strategy for remediation of the site;
- Conceptual remediation plans for priority objects;
- Urgent measures for imminent risks (highest priority); EU Support Phase 2;
- Training and public awareness raising.
During this work, it became apparent that, before commencing with any decommissioning activities, several urgent measures for immediate improvement of radiation safety and security at the PCHP site will need to be implemented. These urgent measures include sealing of contaminated facilities, prevention of unauthorised access to the contaminated buildings, objects and territories and improvement of the related legal and regulatory framework. It is also expected that, during this work, some radiological hazards within the site will be relocated to temporarily established laydown areas with controlled access. Where it is advantageous to do so, these urgent measures shall anticipate the future needs of the site remediation programme.
Much of the preparatory work, required for the implementation of these urgent measures, was finalised under INSC Project U4.01/10G. The preparatory work included gathering of essential data and information relative to the location and magnitude of the radiological hazards located at the PCHP Site. This included, but was not limited to the implementation of:
- Topographical survey of the site
- Overall strategy for remediation of the siteRadiological survey of the buildings (including those which are now privately owned) that were previously utilised for uranium processing;
- Safety Analysis Report (SAR) considering possible control situations post implementation of the urgent measures
- Public awareness for people working within the security boundary of the PCHP site and those living and working near the site.
The long-term remediation programme, delivered by the Phase 1, foresees an overall duration of 10 years and required budget of €180M based on 2016 estimated prices.
This European Union INSC commitment of €3.5 million is dedicated to the implementation of urgent safety improvement measures at the PCHP in Kamyanske city. The project is implemented by the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine, an intergovernmental organisation, involving Ukraine, European Union, and the United States of America.
The main objective is addressing a gap in required legislation, lack of technical expertise in decommissioning and remediation of such legacy sites. The work is supposed to cover 4 areas:
- Legislation and Regulatory framework
- Stabilisation and localisation of the radiological hazards
- Management Systems (capacity building) for the SE Barrier as the PChP site Operator
- Supply of urgently required equipment
The project U4.02/16A “Legal and Other Regulatory Documents of Ukraine for Ensuring Protection and Safety in Relation to Existing Exposure at and around Uranium Legacy Sites” and U4.02/16B1 “Capacity Building / Radiological Protection / Engineering Design and Supervision for the implementation of urgent measures and site safety management” are currently in progress.
Procurement of the Civil Contract for the Construction of the facilities for stabilisation and localisation of the radiological hazards (controlled areas, temporary lay-down area and works on isolation of the radiological hazards inside buildings 103 and 104) is on-going.
In 2016 the European Commission committed a further €5M to implement additional measures required to support initial clean-up activities of the priority territories and objects, on completion of the Phase 2 Urgent Measures.
In April 2018, the Commission informed the project Beneficiary; the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, and the Local Authorities, that the Urgent Measures Project faced certain risks, which could lead to poor performance of the project or as a worst case, project failure.
The situation worsened further after suspension of the license by SNRIU in August 2018, which resulted in limiting the PCHP Site Operator’s activities to maintaining radiation safety. This effectively prevented the implementation of the EC works associated with stabilisation of radiological hazards. The reasoning behind SNRIU revoking SE Barrier’s License was as follows:
- SE Barrier’s inability to meet license conditions associated with physical protection of the facilities and objects being in their ownership.
- SE Barrier were not funded by the State Budget or other means, and thus could not meet their conditions of license as required by Ukrainian Law.
- SE Barrier’s lack of procedures and equipment to implement radiological monitoring at the site and maintenance of the facilities and objects covered by their license
Another risk is related to the Private Owners affected by the urgent safety measures, specifically those related to stabilising/localising the radiological hazards. Being poorly informed regarding the EC Project, they would very likely reject the plans to establish controlled areas around the contaminated buildings owned by them.
In November 2018, following minimal action related to the mitigation of the above-mentioned risks, the Commission decommitted the €5M Euro initially identified for the 2017 Programme. However, the EC stated at that time, the €5M would be reconsidered following suitable project progress.