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26 April 2024, 15:16

Plans to change approaches to radiation hazardous lands in Belarus

MINSK, 26 April (BelTA) – A mechanism for changing the approaches to radiation hazardous lands is being worked out in Belarus, BelTA learned from Head of the Radioactive Waste Management Office of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) Dmitry Pavlov.

Dmitry Pavlov said: “Belarus still has the territories that we need to decide what to do with. Radiation hazardous lands are the lands that cannot be used for agricultural purposes. A mechanism to change approaches to these lands is being worked out now. We intend to do this work within the next 2-3 years. Besides, in three oblasts of Belarus there are 86 burial sites, which emerged as a result of isolation work. They are facilities that need maintenance and solutions for years ahead.”

The official added that polluted soil as well as construction materials used in the course of decontamination work were dumped at those sites soon after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.

“A system has been worked out. Evaluations of the environmental safety are organized. Every three years we send safety reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Last year together with scientific institutions a concept of the future strategy for managing these sites was suggested and implemented. A strategy on managing radioactive waste was adopted in February,” the head of Gosatomnadzor’s Radioactive Waste Management Office said.

In his words, Chernobyl-affected territories are viewed as a possible scientific cluster for research into all the problems relating to the management of radioactive waste. “The Polesie State Radiation and Ecological Reserve does all the work relating to the management of radioactive waste. In the course of handling the decontamination waste and its own territory the reserve concluded that future development of this territory requires justification of safe operations. This is why the reserve is getting ready to get a license from Gosatomnadzor,” Dmitry Pavlov summarized.

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