On December 17, 2012, the activities on release of ChNPP Unit No.1 from conditioned spent nuclear fuel (SNF) were resumed. 1,325 spent fuel assemblies are to be transported to ISF-1 and about 1,250 “short” fuel canisters are to be manufactured for SNF storage at ISF-1 by November 30, 2013.

By analogy with the works performed on the release of Power Unit No.2 from SNF, the activities at Power Unit No.1 will be performed according to “Measures providing the process of release of Chernobyl NPP Units No.1,2 from nuclear fuel”, brought into force by Order No.51 dated January 26, 2012, and meeting the conditions of a specific authorization of the State Nuclear Safety Inspectorate at ChNPP (Series OD No.000040/1-21).

The corresponding document was agreed by the State Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Ukraine on December 7, 2012. In the decision “On acknowledgement of SSE ChNPP Unit No.3 (a nuclear facility released from nuclear fuel) as a facility for radioactive waste management” is pointed out that in accordance with Article 1 of a Law of Ukraine “On Use of Nuclear Energy and Radiation Safety” and i.11.9 of “General Provisions on NPP Safety” the nuclear facility of Power Unit No.3 can be acknowledged as the facility for RAW management.

In 2010 all fuel was removed from Unit No.3 and transported to ISF-1. However, to the present day it was operated in ready mode to accept spent nuclear fuel from ISF-1. Due to the fact that operating life of Unit No.3 as a nuclear facility had been expired in December 2011, the necessity and expediency of extension of its operating life was assessed. Based on the assessment materials and taking into consideration the decision, agreed by the State Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Ukraine on June 14, 2012 “On procedure of SFA placement in cooling pools of Power Units 1,2 in case of emergency unloading of one of the ISF-1 cooling pool’s compartments”, since December 8, 2012, the operating mode of Unit No.3 under the state of readiness to accept the spent nuclear fuel is stopped, and the Power Unit’s nuclear facility is considered as the facility, intended for RAW management.

By the 31st of December this year the Chernobyl NPP will prepare documents to obtain a specific authorization giving the right to finally shutdown and preserve the third Power Unit within the framework of License of the State Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Ukraine ЕО No.000040 “The Chernobyl NPP Decommissioning”.

On December 10-14, 2012, the workshop is being held housed by Kiev Institute “EnergoProekt”. The workshop is organized under IAEA Technical Cooperation Project “Support of Decommissioning and Waste Management of ChNPP, INPP and A1 NPP”. SSE “Chernobyl NPP” is the organizer of the event.

The experts of IAEA, Technicatome AREVA T (France), the representatives of Ignalina NPP, Energy Institute of Lithuania, State Nuclear Energy Safety Inspectorate of Lithuania, Slovakian company “VUJE a.s.”, the representatives of Lvov, Odessa and Kharkov State Inter-Regional Special Industrial Complexes of the State Corporation “RADON”, Chernobyl NPP, Chernobyl Radiological Center “ECOCENTER”, State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management, SSTC for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, and State Nuclear Regulation Inspectorate of Ukraine are participating in the workshop.

The objective of the workshop is to review prerequisites for improvement, planning and building of radioactive waste management facilities to meet waste acceptance criteria for storage, disposal and decommissioning of specific systems at ChNPP, INPP and A1 NPP.

In the framework of the workshop, there were presented reports on available and future facilities for waste management at ChNPP, within Exclusion Zone and in Ukraine, and management of radioactive waste generated at Ukrainian NPP sites. The experience of Lithuania and Slovakia in RAW management was also presented.

Issues on synergies in operation, construction and licensing of waste management facilities, understanding of waste characteristics as key prerequisite to select optimized technologies of radioactive waste treatment, storage and disposal are in the focus of attention.

During the workshop, methods of determining waste characteristics to optimize designing of waste management facilities are reviewed, and methods of determining waste characteristics applied in Ukraine, Slovakia and Lithuania during different stages of RAW management are discussed.

On December 13, the workshop participants visited ChNPP site and got familiar with waste processing facilities. The “Buryakovka” Waste Disposal Site, “Vektor” Complex, Chernobyl and Pripyat scheduled for tour visiting became unavailable due to snow drifts.

On December 6, 2012, upon the request of PC “AES KievOblEnergo”, an electricity supply to a number of SSE ChNPP consumers was partially limited in accordance with established procedure. The mentioned actions concerned only equipment and systems being not important for safety assurance. The electricity supply of nuclear and radiation-hazardous facilities of SSE ChNPP (including ISF-1, the Shelter Object, etc.) was not ceased and was not limited. This occurred due to non-payment by State Specialized Enterprise “Chernobyl NPP” for electric power consumed for November 2012, which was resulted upon circumstances independent of the plant, namely due to lack of funding. On December 7, 2012, the Administration of SSE ChNPP referred to PC “AES KievOblEnergo” with a letter guaranteeing repayment of debts by December 15, 2012. Nevertheless, as on December 10, 2012, the issue on budget funding of this expenditure line of ChNPP is unsolved

As it has been known from appealing of PC “AES KievOblEnergo” Administration on December 10, 2012, to the Ministry of Emergencies and the Chairman of Kiev Region State Administration Anatoliy Prisyazhnyuk, in case of non-payment of indicated debts, the electricity supply to ChNPP site will be limited as early as from December 13, 2012

The further actions on limiting and ceasing electric power supply to SSE ChNPP consumers can lead to a collapse of works on international projects, and have negative impact on reliable and stable functioning of safety-important systems and equipment, on reliable and stable functioning of outdoor switchgear ОРУ-110/330/750 kV of SSE ChNPP and, as a result, can become the initial events for occurrence of industrial emergencies.

On November 30, 2012, the works on removing conditioned spent nuclear fuel from Chernobyl NPP Unit 2 were completed.

The works were performed in accordance with a Separate Permit No.000040/1-21 issued by SNRIU on December 22, 2011 Twenty one spent fuel assemblies are currently remaining at Unit 2 storage pools.

Their discharge will be carried out after Unit 1 storage pools release from conditioned spent nuclear fuel.