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Nuclear Safety Cooperation


Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe
€ 269,291.87
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1995
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Waste Management



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA


07/08/1995 - 07/02/1997



Project / Budget year

WW9306 Nuclear Safety 1996 / 1993


Large quantities of radioactive substances were present in the territory of Ukraine at the time of the project. Their origins were tailings from uranium mining and milling, waste from operating nuclear power plants, radioactive waste from medical, industrial and research applications, and waste from the Chernobyl accident.

Radioactive waste management practices at the time of the project were considered unsafe. When Ukraine became an independent state, the need arouse to have a national radioactive waste management system (including an accounting system and up-to-date analytical tools). The National Programme for radioactive waste management was adopted in April, 1996, after the Law of Ukraine on the Use of Nuclear Energy and Radiation Safety (February, 1995) and the Law of Ukraine on Radioactive Waste Management (June, 1995). Both established the legislative basis for the future development of the nuclear power sector.

The general coordination of the implementation of the National Programme is the responsibility of the Ministry for Emergency Situations. The main tasks considered in the Programme are:

  • Creation and follow-upof a unified system for radioactive waste accounting
  • Development and implementation of a special financing scheme for radioactive waste management
  • Personnel education and training

The project was divided into two separate parts. The first part of the project aimed at the improvement of Ukraine’s practices in radioactive waste management. It started in August 1995, with a duration of 15 months, and was awarded to a consortium composed of SGN (France) and NIS (Germany).

The second part of the project “Waste disposal site project” aimed at providing assistance in selecting a site for an engineered near-surface repository for short-lived radioactive waste and the assistance in selecting one or more sites for a possible deep repository and sitting of a rock laboratory. It started in February 1996, with a duration of 17 months, and was awarded to the Consortium Cassiopee G.E.I.E.

This summary report refers to the second part of the project.

Two TACIS projects closely relate to the waste disposal site project:

  • “Chernobyl Waste Integration Project (95-1502.00) implemented in 1996 to create an integral concept for radioactive waste treatment and conditioning, for storage and disposal of such waste and the spent fuel of Chernobyl. This project focused on the Exclusion Area and used as input the results of several earlier relevant TACIS projects.
  • “Feasibility study for an underground repository for long-lived non-heat generating radioactive waste in Ukraine” demonstrated that the use of abandoned mines in Ukraine for long time disposal of radioactive waste was not suitable.


The main objective of the project was:

  • to assist the Authorities of Ukraine in taking appropriate decisions concerning the selection of disposal sites for the radioactive waste produced in Ukraine
  • to ensure that the radioactive waste in Ukraine would be disposed of in an internationally accepted way.

Preselected radioactive waste disposal sites (low-level waste and high level waste) should be assessed and the results of this assessment, observing both technical and socio-economic aspects, should be provided to the Ukrainian authorities.


Four main activities were envisaged in this project.

  1. Collection of the results of the research work in Ukraine in relation to radioactive waste disposal
  2. Definition of the criteria for the waste disposal site selection on the basis of the experience gained in EU countries and guidelines established by international organisations and addressing both technical and socio-economic aspects, as well as public acceptance,.
  3. Evaluation and comparison of the three preselected disposal sites for both near surface and deep geological disposals concepts. The evaluation should be assessed on the basis of the criteria defined and should take into account the specific situation of Ukraine, in particular the consequences of the Chernobyl accident.
  4. Organisation of a ten day review meeting in EU countries including technical visits to relevant disposal facilities. For each disposal facility (near surface and deep geological), one group of six experts from Ukraine is to take place..

The outcomes of the previous activities were collected in two outputs:

  • a) Analysis report on advantages and drawbacks of three preselected disposal options for both near surface and deep geological disposal, including a recommendation for the final selection. The report included a priority list of the preselected sites/options, with assessments for both near surface and deep geological disposal. For the deep geological disposal, a recommendation could not be placed because of the lack or knowledge and information of the different options considered.
  • b) Report on the technical visit organised to the three EU countries. The visit to three EU countries and radioactive waste disposal sites gave the Ukrainian experts a good overview on the systematic approach needed to deal with radioactive waste disposal facilities. Participants to the visit with specific expertise in radioactive waste management demanded more technical and scientific details than the information provided, whereas representative of the State bodies appreciated the information on work organisation, quality assurance programme for research, practical examples of radioactive waste management, etc.

In summary, the project results pertaining to near surface disposal were used to obtain a license for the construction of a facility for decontamination, processing, transportation and disposal of radioactive waste from contaminated areas after the Chernobyl accident. The license was issued in January, 1997.

With regard to the deep geological disposal, the project results did not allow for a final recommendation, due to the lack of information on preselected disposal sites.