Unloading of spent nuclear fuel from reactor one of Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) was completed on June 6, 2016, Ukrainian Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Ostap Semerak has said.
The press service of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry reported, referring to the minister that earlier fuel was removed reactors two and three.
"Work to unload spent nuclear fuel lasted for nine years. Before the completion of Spent Fuel Storage Facility 2 financed using international technical assistance, the fuel will be temporarily stored in Spent Fuel Storage Facility 1," the minister said.
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Semerak said that the new status of Chornobyl NPP reactors would allow starting the new phase – reactor decommissioning.
"Today [June 6] the next important step of transforming the exclusion zone to the territory of changes and development. After removing spent nuclear fuel from Chornobyl NPP reactors, the ecological level in the exclusion zone would grow," the minister said.
Semerak also said that the ministry is working on a new Chornobyl zone development program.
The status of reactors one and two after unloading of spent nuclear fuel will be changed.
"These reactors would not be considered reactors anymore. After approving relevant documents the reactors would be facilities for treating radioactive waste," the minister said.
Spent Fuel Storage Facility 1 will still have the status of reactor. The facility stores spent nuclear fuel from three reactors of Chornobyl NPP.