Canadian, Ukrainian regulators agree to cooperate

21 August 2023

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation and the exchange of information in nuclear regulatory matters has been signed between the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU).

The signing of the MoU by CNSC President Rumina Velshi (left) and SNRIU Acting Chairman Oleh Korikov (Image: CNSC)

The MoU was signed by SNRIU Acting Chairman and Chief State Inspector for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Ukraine Oleh Korikov and CNSC President Rumina Velshi at the SNRIU headquarters in Kiev during Velshi's visit to Ukraine from 15 to 18 August.

"We are very grateful that you visited Ukraine and signed this memorandum of cooperation," Korikov told Velshi. "We are confident that this will establish the basis for productive cooperation in the future and contribute to achieving effective results in the field of nuclear and radiation safety."

"My visit to Ukraine is a sign of solidarity and support," Velshi said. "These are not only words, but also actions. I agree that the memorandum is the basis and key instrument for cooperation and support of each other. And today we have to define the main areas in which we will work."

During a working meeting that followed the signing of the MoU, the parties discussed a number of prospective areas of cooperation. The priorities include cooperation in the area of conducting pre-licensing safety assessments of new nuclear facility designs (including small modular reactors). Another area for cooperation will be the issue of regulatory activities for decommissioning of uranium mining and processing facilities.

In addition, the Ukrainian and Canadian regulators will cooperate on restoring safe operation of the currently occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and other nuclear and radiation hazardous facilities affected by the war, and on improving regulatory activities for radioactive waste management.

On 17 August, Velshi, accompanied by SNRIU representatives, visited the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site, which was occupied by Russian forces for several weeks in early 2022. Together they visited the dry used fuel storage facility and the New Safe Confinement.

Velshi at the Chernobyl plant site (Image: SSE ChNPP)

"The purpose of the visit was to demonstrate the support and solidarity of the international community, as well as to ascertain what challenges and requirements Ukraine needs immediate help to overcome," SSE Chernobyl NPP said.

"What I saw at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant definitely exceeded all expectations," Velshi said. "The information that comes from the news or just from people cannot convey what is happening here. To see how enormous the challenge is for the enterprise and how quickly the staff was able to adapt to work after the occupation is impressive and inspires sincere admiration."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News