Environmental Policy and Nature Management Committee hearings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine “35th Anniversary of the Chornobyl Disaster: Problems and Prospects of the Exclusion Zone” was held on April 8, 2021. Scientists of the Institute for Safety Problems of NPP participated in the discussion of the current issues of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone future development. Therefore, Anatolii Nosovskyi, Director of the ISP NPP, presented report on the current issues of the scientific and technical support of the Chornobyl NPP decommissioning and works on the Shelter object transformation into an ecologically safe system. He noted that the second stage of the Plan to transform the Shelter object into an environmentally safe system will end with the commissioning of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) and the third stage will start that is retrieval and transfer into controlled state of the fuel containing materials (FCM) of the Shelter object. However, for today practical works on development of the FCM management technologies postponed indefinitely. According to the current norms and decisions, unstable structures of the Shelter object must be dismantled until 2023. Nevertheless, now this works are not financed. Such state is unappropriated. At the same time day by day, risks of collapse of the Shelter object structures increase. Latest studies of the Institute show that the change of physical-chemical properties of the highly active materials of destroyed reactor contained nuclear fuel are taking place. These processes cause appearance of fine-dispersed high-activity dust. In the future part of the dust will increase and in the case of constructions fall it may lead to their release into the space under the NSC, that will sufficiently complicate its operation. Under such conditions, it is extremely important to study properties of the materials and forecast their changes in the nearest future and assessment of nuclear hazard. For this reason implementation of the Program of the monitoring of the Shelter object nuclear materials state is urgent today. However, currently this work also is not sponsored.
That is why to perform plans of the Chornobyl NPP decommissioning and Shelter object transformation into an ecologically safe system it is necessary:
- To provide implementation of taken decisions concerning dismantling of unstable structures of the Shelter object and to perform it in the prescribed time.
- To provide stable financing of research works of the Program of scientific support of works at the stage of the New Safe Confinement of the Shelter object putting into operation where the issue of the creation of fuel-containing materials monitoring system, which should become a basis for the decision making as to the future treatment with nuclear-hazardous materials of the Shelter object, takes a special place.
- To provide performance of the taken decisions concerning development and testing of advanced technologies for nuclear-hazardous materials of the Shelter object treatment.
Considering sufficient financial expenditures essential for FCM transfer into the controlled state it is necessary to initiate before the international community the issue concerning joint participation in this work.