December 14, 2023, 17:29

Ukraine’s operating new nuclear facility challenging Russia’s monopoly over spent nuclear fuel management

In fact, in 2023, Ukraine’s new nuclear facility which is a Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF), started trial operation at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In addition to having a number of advantages, including economic ones, this practice breaks the Russian monopoly on spent nuclear fuel acceptance and disposition. 

It was emphasized by Oleh Korikov, Acting Chairman – Chief State Inspector for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Ukraine, during a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

“This actually makes Russia lose spent nuclear fuel acceptance monopoly and adhere to safer management of spent nuclear fuel by using more advanced, two-barrier safe packaging for nuclear materials during transportation and storage. It also has positive economic impacts, since, firstly, Energoatom operates a facility it has previously invested in. Secondly, Ukraine would no longer have to pay the aggressor country for used nuclear fuel handling services and its further management”.

Oleh Korikov reminded that a separate commissioning permit was granted by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate in 2022, and in 2023, the operating organization has already worked out the routes for spent nuclear fuel to be transported from each nuclear power plant reactor. Fuel shipments have already been completed safely from Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, and South Ukraine NPPs to the central storage facility. 

According to him, 13 spent fuel casks are currently stored at the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility. 

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