Translated by Ollie Richardson
The American company Holtec International began the construction of storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in the Chernobyl zone for the burial of processed waste from Ukrainian nuclear power plants. According to the project, nuclear waste will be stored in containers on an earth’s surface. Experts warn that it is dangerous.
“The construction is a superficial type that will be designed to ensure the safe storage of highly radioactive waste during the entire period of storage (100 years),” it is said in the statement of the press service of the State Agency on the Exclusion Zone Management.
“It will be just a concrete platform, on which special ferroconcrete containers with fulfilled nuclear fuel inside will be placed. The premises for the acceptance of the containers brought from nuclear power plants must adjoin this platform. I.e. in the plan of construction this is a very simple structure. That’s why it also doesn’t demand a long time for construction and massive expenses, especially financial ones,” explained the former head of the State Committee for Atomic Energy of Ukraine Georgy Kopchinsky.
“With the storage facility being built in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, not everything is so simple,” said the leading expert of the National Energy Security Fund Stanislav Mitrakhovich. “It will be on the land, the spent assemblies will be placed in special containers on the surface. It is possible to say that the American contractor company conducts an experiment on Ukrainian territory. Such experiments haven’t been conducted in the world yet, and it isn’t clear to what extent this approach is safe, other countries are still afraid to create such constructions”.
Experts sound the alarm: it is authorized to build and use only underground storages of nuclear waste, however their cost starts from $800 million. In Ukraine the centralized storage for spent nuclear fuel will be constructed on the surface in the Chernobyl zone, thus only $250 million are going to be spent on construction. Besides this, this experimental storage project will be built by the American company Holtec International, which has never engaged in the construction of nuclear burial grounds before. I.e. it will be an experiment squared [² – ed].
It is necessary to add that the storage is being built 100 km from Kiev and near the Dnieper, which provides water to half of the country. The fact that the size of the future nuclear burial ground significantly exceed all the needs of Ukraine isn’t widely advertised. And this means that here all the nuclear waste of Europe and America will begin to flow into the river. Someone in Kiev will earn from this not just one billion.
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