Radioactive Material Management

Radioactive materials at the Chornobyl NPP are conventionally subdivided into 2 main categories: Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel.

Spent Nuclear Fuel is fuel elements or their groups retrieved from nuclear reactors of Nuclear Power Plants and other installations. Fuel is considered as spent if it is not able to maintain effectively the chain reaction.

Currently all Chornobyl NPP fuel is located in the "wet type" Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility 1. In the future the fuel will be moved to a "dry" Storage Facility where it will be stored within the next 100 years.

Basic information: Spent Nuclear Fuel Management

As distinct from Radioactive Waste, which are secondary products generated at all stages of NPP’s nuclear cycle and are not of value in terms of future use, Spent Nuclear Fuel can not be considered as a waste. More than 90% of the total volume of Spent Fuel is nuclear materials, which can be used in the future as a recovered Nuclear Fuel. In particular, Spent Fuel contains a significant quantity of incompletely burned up uranium and plutonium.

At the Chornobyl NPP there are 2 facilities for Radioactive Waste management: Industrial Complex for Solid Radioactive Waste Management and Liquid Radioactive Waste Treatment Plant. Besides, Engineered Near-Surface Solid Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility at the Industrial Complex "Vector" is used to store the packaged waste.

Basic information: Radioactive Waste Management