The year of 1998 has become a turning point for the further development and improvement of ecological legislation. The Supreme Council of Ukraine approved the legislative act “Main aspects of the national policy on environmental protection, utilization of natural resources, and guarantee of environmental safety” (5 March 1998). This is the most important programmatic document in which the current ecological situation and environmental state in Ukraine are characterized, and it deals with the basic priorities of environmental protection, rational use of natural resources and ensuring of ecological safety.
The approval of the Law of Ukraine “On waste” on 5 March, 1998 laid the foundation for the initiation of a new legislative base in the field of waste handling. In its general part the law is based on European and global principles of solving the waste problem, such as priority of human health protection and environmental protection, notification and minimization of waste generation, development and introduction of ecologically pure technologies and development of technologies based on utilization of waste. The terminology used in the Law of Ukraine “On waste” corresponds to the terminology used in international documents on waste handling.
The law underlines the need to identify the owner of the waste and imposes responsibility for proper control on the owner (enterprise).
Most of the law’s provisions call for the development and introduction of relevant regulatory, technical or financial instruments. Apart from the involvement of budgetary and other financial resources, application of the law demands the introduction of more than 20 supplemental acts. Some of these documents have already been prepared and put into force, namely:
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 2 July 1998 No. 999 “Procedure for realization of ecological control of export consignment of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal by subdivisions of the State Ecological Inspection of the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine”;
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 3 August 1998 No. 1216 “Adoption of the procedure for keeping a register of sites of waste disposal”;
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 3 August 1998 No. 1217 “Adoption of the procedure for revealing of and accounting for unowned waste”;
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 3 August 1998 No. 1218 “Adoption of the procedure for the development, adoption and revision of limits for generation and disposal of waste”;
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 31 August 1998 No. 1360 “Adoption of the procedure for keeping a register of the installations where wastes are generated, processed and utilized”.
Besides, a network of other laws will be developed and adopted: for example, “On Hazardous Wastes” and “On Packing materials”. At present a plan, the main goal of which is to determine a complete package of laws necessary for the effective control of wastes, is being developed with indication of terms of their adoption. The Basel Convention has not been ratified by Ukraine yet, but all necessary documents for this purpose have been prepared.
Legal Documents in the Field of State Control of Nuclear and Radiation Safety
At present Ukraine is mainly using legal and standard technical documents developed in the former Soviet Union. These documents regulate the nuclear, radiation and technical safety at all stages of the life cycle of nuclear plants and use of radiation technologies, determine requirements for the systems and equipment which are important for safety, organization of operation and operation procedures and also criteria and indices of safety. Repeated comparisons of the said normative base with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency and analogous documents of leading nuclear countries have confirmed that its basic principles of safety are in agreement with international approaches. First of all, this concerns principles of technical safety of nuclear plants based on the concept of comprehensive protection.
However, the development of nuclear legislation and the analysis of current concepts of international nuclear legislation have generated a need for the development of a national system of legal and standard technical documentation on the safety of nuclear plants. Within the limits of the development of this system the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine put into force in 1998 the following legal acts:
general provisions of safety ensuring when removing nuclear power plants and experimental nuclear reactors from operation (Regulations 306.2.02/1. 004-98);
procedure of state inventory of radioactive waste (Regulations 306.2.04/3.005-98);
statement about the policy regulating the nuclear and radiation safety of the installation "Ukrittia" of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Regulations 306.1.2/1.007-98);
safety certificate procedure for transportation of radioactive materials (Regulations 306.5.06/2.008-98);
licensing provisions for preparation of the personnel of the NPP of Ukraine (Regulations 306.5.022/3.011-98).
Besides, the preparation for an introduction of the IAEA standards “Safety regulations of radioactive material transportation” as a national normative document instead of the rules of the former Soviet Union was carried out during the year.
Introduction of the rules of the IAEA, which determine the international norms and regulations for transboundary transportation of radioactive materials, will contribute to the provision of the adopted level of safety, and a harmonizing of accounting, registration and procedures, in particular when state borders are crossed.
The rules of the IAEA have been translated into Ukrainian; the permission of the IAEA for their use and distribution has been received; and the preparation of the relevant commentaries on the use of these rules has already begun.
The preparation of the final wording of the draft "General regulations for ensuring safety of nuclear power plants" is performed by the interagency working group created together with National Company "Energoatom". This document will regulate safety problems peculiar to nuclear power plants, clarify criteria, requirements and conditions for ensuring nuclear and radiation safety as well as main principles and character of technical and organizing steps aimed at the achievement of safety, organization and implementation of state control in the field of environmental protection, and ensuring of ecological, nuclear and radiation safety.
The State Ecological Inspection and the Central State Inspection on Nuclear Safety supervise come under the Ministry. Regulations about these inspections are approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Legal basis of the State Control in the field of Environmental Protection
In March 1998 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved by its resolution No. 244 a new “Regulations on the State Ecological Inspection of the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine”.
In order to fulfil the above resolution the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine has formulated and approved the Regulations about bodies comprising the State Ecological Inspection:
Regulations on the Central State Ecological Inspection;
Regulations on the State Inspections of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov Protection;
Standard regulations on the State Ecological Inspections of the Committee of Environmental Protection of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, the state departments of ecological safety in regions and in cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol;
Regulations on state inspectors on environmental protection appointed by the Chief State Inspector of Ukraine on environmental protection from a number of executive officers of Ministries and other central governmental bodies who carry out control in the field of environmental protection, use of natural resources, and ecological safety.