Trust Fund project completed successfully in Ukraine

07 March 2017

NSPA’s General and Cooperative Services Programme has recently completed a NATO Trust Fund project for the disposal of radioactive waste located in Vakulenchuk, central Ukraine. Through the Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine, NATO has committed to assist Ukraine in addressing legacy challenges arising from Soviet era military activities.  As part of this assistance, radioactive waste being stored in an aging bunker which posed a health, environmental and security risk was safely destroyed. The project was officially closed with high level ceremonies on-site and in Kiev on 13-14 February attended by donor nations as well as Ukrainian military and Environmental Agency representatives.

The project was led by Germany with the support of Luxembourg, Switzerland and the USA and involved work carried out over a 12-month period to enable Ukraine to recover and secure the radioactive material in line with international standards, to restore the site to its original condition and thereby remove the threat posed to the environment and the local population.

The first phase consisted of a thorough, well-planned radiation survey and site investigation which determined the extent of the physical, chemical and radiological contamination of the site. This data was then used to plan and execute the retrieval and extraction of the material, its treatment and packaging and transportation to a storage facility. Finally, the site was restored to a condition that will prevent further environmental degradation.