January 16, 2017
Action Ukraine joined forces with the EU and local government authorities recently to shed light on a significant public and environmental health risk to the people of Ukraine. A press trip was organised for journalists from major national print, online and broadcast media to tour the Pridniprovskiy Chemical Plant – a former uranium processing plant near Kamyanske city just over 450 km from the capital city of Kyiv. The 3.5 million EUR project is part of an initiative by the EU to expand its financial support for the clean-up of the legacy site. The trip was a great success, with our team going the extra mile to help make journalists and representatives as comfortable as possible as they braved subzero temperatures to travel to the plant site, including the organisation of hotel accommodations and express train service to and from the small industrial city.
During the tour, journalists had the opportunity to find out first-hand how the EU and Ukrainian government authorities plan to work together to improve safety measures and mitigate the threat posed by the site to the surrounding communities. This latest project will be implemented via the Science and Technology Centre, a local intergovernmental organisation, involving Ukraine, the EU and the US. The centre’s main mission is to facilitate the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology.
In operation between 1947 and 1992, the Pridniprovskiy Chemical Plant was one of the largest uranium processing enterprises of the former Soviet Union. Following the stop of plant operations, despite the plant’s close proximity to residential areas in and around Kamyanske city, the site was left in a state of decay. For many years, it has had limited radiation safety measures, poor regulatory control, and a low-level of security. Moreover, people who continue to work in the area are exposed to potentially dangerous radiation levels at rates up to ten times higher than radiation protection norms.
This is one of the many projects funded by international donor organisations that Action Ukraine has worked on since our Kyiv office opened in 2002, and helping us develop strong relationships with the local EU Delegation, other organisation representatives and the government of Ukraine.