A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) to formalise efforts to cooperate and exchange information on nuclear regulatory matters. The agreement, signed in Kyiv by CNSC President Rumina Velshi and SNRIU Acting Chairman & Chief Inspector on Nuclear & Radiation Safety Oleh Korikov, “serves as a framework to enhance collaboration and exchange of information to strengthen nuclear safety”.

CNSC said it is intended to support the stabilisation of nuclear safety in Ukraine through technical collaboration and exchanges. It will also assist in the eventual recovery efforts in Ukraine and potential preparations to regulate small modular reactors (SMRs).

“The Ukrainian regulator, which has faced enormous challenges during this time of conflict, has the CNSC’s unequivocal support. Our actions are as necessary as our words in delivering that support,” Veshi said. According to CNSC, “The MOU was established to grow the bilateral relationship between the CNSC and SNRIU, focusing collaboration on organisational priorities.”

Korikov emphasised the importance of expanding cooperation between the two regulators. “We are confident that this will serve as a basis for fruitful cooperation in the future, as well as contribute to achieving effective results in the field of nuclear and radiation safety," he noted.

During the working meeting held after the signing of the a number of promising areas of cooperation were discussed, SNRIU said. These included pre-licensing safety assessment of new projects of nuclear installations. “Canada is one of the leading countries in the world that is currently working on the introduction of new technologies in nuclear energy, given the need to replace those facilities that operate with 1970-1980 years and whose service life is expiring,” SNRIU noted. The issue of regulatory activities on the decommissioning of mining and processing facilities in the uranium industry, was also considered.

“In addition, Ukrainian and Canadian regulators will cooperate on issues of restoring the safe operation of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhia NPP and other nuclear and radiation-hazardous facilities affected by the war, and on improving regulatory activities regarding radioactive waste management,” SNRIU stated.

Velshi also paid a visit to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site.

The aim was to ascertain what challenges and requirements Ukraine needs immediate help to overcome, according to Chernobyl NPP.

Image: Rumina Velshi, President, CNSC (left) and SNRIU Acting Chairman Oleh Korikov at the signing of the MoU (courtesy of CNSC)