Ukraine has widely used nuclear energy since 1977, when the first unit of a major Nuclear Power Plant was commissioned. Currently, nuclear power plants produce around 50% of the total electricity generated in Ukraine. The operation cycle of these plants has resulted in accumulated radioactive waste (RAW), which needs to be safely stored. In 1986, a disaster at one of the units caused widespread contamination of the surrounding region and created large volumes of RAW. Since that time, the international nuclear community has supported Ukraine in mitigating the negative impact of the disaster, including establishing a reliable dosimetric control system within the affected area and developing RAW storage and disposal facilities in accordance with best international practices.

The facilities in the exclusion zone have been affected by the 36-day occupation by foreign troops in early 2022. According to published information, equipment was removed, including dosimeters, computers, cars, instruments, etc., valued at USD 135 million. Particularly, the Central Analytical Laboratory was looted or destroyed, impairing the ability of responsible enterprises to provide dosimetric control within the exclusion zone.

In this context, further support of the Ukrainian nuclear sector is needed. The European Union (EU) has been supporting Ukraine in various nuclear safety aspects, including RAW management and radiation monitoring and protection, through numerous interventions implemented under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC). This specific intervention involves modernizing the dosimetric control system in the exclusion zone and environmental radiation monitoring at key disposal facilities. It is being implemented by the Science and Technology Centre Ukraine (STCU) through a contribution agreement and is based on a completed service contract for the modernization of the dosimetric control system and environmental monitoring at the specified facilities.