Ukraine’s president has unveiled plans for a new nuclear waste repository at Chernobyl, which 35 years ago this week became the site of the worst nuclear accident in history, driving tens of thousands from their homes and leaving contamination that will linger for hundreds of years. To mark the anniversary of the disaster, Volodymyr Zelensky visited the site with Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and vowed to “transform the exclusion zone, as Chernobyl is referred to, into a revival zone.” Ukrainian authorities are undertaking to use the deserted area surrounding the stricken plant to build a facility that would store nuclear waste for at least 100 years, and the new repository is expected to open this year. The country operates 15 nuclear reactors that it inherited from the Soviet Union. Like Chernobyl, these reactors, nearly all of which have reached their retirement age of 40 years, became Kiev’s responsibility when the country gained independence from Moscow in 1991.
Bellona 28th April 2021 read more »