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The Chornobyl region will host a central radioactive waste storage facility that is expected to open in 2013, the head of the State Agency for Managing the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, Volodymyr Kholosha, recently told reporters.

"This storage facility will allow all of the radioactive waste from the territory of Ukraine that is stored at special facilities of bankrupt enterprises to be collected together and stored

safely here for at least 50 years," he said. He noted that a large amount of radioactive waste requiring long-term storage is in Ukraine, near large cities.

The repository should be large enough to accept 21,000 items of radioactive waste each year, Kholosha said. It will be designed to ultimately accept more than 400,000 items of radioactive waste.

"This will effectively allow the facility to collect together [all of Ukraine's radioactive waste] in one place and make our environment safer within 15 years, he said.

Kholosha tried to ease concerns about the storage site being a terrorist target, noting that it will be located far from residential areas.

The Ukrainian authorities are working with other nations to remove radioactive waste from the Ukraine territory--including the United States, France, Germany, Sweden and the European Union. The repository will cost GBP 8 million to build, and the European Commission may provide 2 million euro a year to operate it. Ukraine has so far invested UAH 250 million into the 150-hectare repository's infrastructure.

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Title Annotation:INTERNATIONAL
Publication:Nuclear Waste News
Geographic Code:4EXUR
Date:Oct 24, 2011
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Next Article:Slovakia.

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