The experts of the Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SSTC NRS) conducted a survey on territories with radioactively contaminated materials near Kropyvnytskyi (Kirovohrad region). The experts revealed a slight increase of the radiation background with the main contribution by cesium-137 (Cs-137) that is the radionuclide of man-made origin.
“We came to this location for more detailed radiation survey, because we have the necessary equipment”, said Eduard Sukhoverkhyi, SSTC NRS expert. “Results of the survey showed insignificant increase of dose rate on the territory with disposed contaminated waste that is from 0.1 to 0.3 µSv/h. Increase of dose rate to 0.5-0.7 µSv/h was detected in two locations.
SSTC NRS experts also measured radiation background in Kropyvnytskyi using RanidSONNI mobile reconnaissance vehicle.
“We did not record any abnormal increase of radiation in the city itself”, the expert commented. “Dose rate in Kropyvnytskyi is within 0.03-0.15 µSv/h, which is a natural background for this area”.
It is necessary to recall that on 13 July 2017, unidentified persons conducted unauthorized land works in the territory with radioactively contaminated materials generated in 1988 after the accident mitigation in the area of Kirovohradbud enterprises in the Veselivske clay deposit near Kropyvnytskyi.
As of 13 July 2017, according to the radiological laboratory of the Kirovohrad Regional Laboratory Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the exposure dose rate of the gamma radiation was 0.23-1.23 µSv/h.
Based on the conducted survey, SSTC NRS experts consider it necessary for Kropyvnytskyi local authorities to develop and implement measures to restrict access to the territories with radioactively contaminated materials. “First, it would be necessary to fence the area and ensure the integrity of soil layer covering contaminated materials in order to avoid ingress of moisture”, Eduard Sukhoverkhyi summed. “It would further be needed to conduct more thorough research, to take deep soil samples, and then to introduce administrative control, implement redisposal or recycling of materials”.
According to Dnipropetrovsk SISP, full complex of activities on retrieval of containers with radioactive materials and their further sorting and decontamination is needed for complete solution of the problem. It is impossible to state that the disposal is safe in the situation, when the integrity of the disposal was lost and there was an attempt to steal contaminated materials. This is stated in the report on the examination of location near Kropyvnytskyi, where unauthorized soil disclosure was detected.
The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine classified the event on 13 July as the one having all signs of a radiation accident.