Russia halts nuclear waste disposal from Ukraine

A containment shelter for the damaged fourth reactor (L) and the New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure (R) at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine © Gleb Garanich
Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has stopped removing spent nuclear fuel from Ukraine because bills have been unpaid, said nuclear decommissioning executive Oleg Kryukov.


“There are problems related to Ukraine’s payments,” he said, adding that the first shipment of nuclear waste for disposal has been postponed.

Kryukov affirmed the agency plans to continue disposing of nuclear waste already in Russia for processing.

 “We have a contract with Ukraine on storing spent nuclear fuel and its recycling. We are going to continue with the contract, although the Ukrainian side plans to build its own warehouse for spent fuel without recycling,” he said on the sidelines of the Atomexpo-2016 forum.

Under the agreement signed between two countries in 1993, Russia supplies reactor fuel to Ukraine and takes spent fuel rods for storage and reprocessing.

A year ago, Ukraine said it planned to invest $25 million in a centralized spent nuclear fuel storage facility at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Kiev is currently trying to attract Western investors to kick-start the project.