Foreign radioactive waste will not be processed in Slovakia

No one will import foreign radioactive waste in Slovakia for processing and incineration. This restriction is aiming on low-level waste that was not produced in Slovakia. This follows from the amendment to the Act on the Environment, which also amends the Act on Radiation Protection. The amendment was signed on Monday by President Zuzana Čaputová.

Environmental Act addresses radioactive waste in Slovakia

The ban is introduced by an amendment to the Environmental Act. The new law “explicitly prohibits the import of radioactive waste for the purpose of incineration, which was not produced in the territory of the Slovak Republic”, states the proposed amendment to the law. Among other things, it newly sets these activities “in the context of pollution and environmental damage”.

Proposal was made by members of the National Council who sought to “contribute to reducing the burden and threat to the environment while preventing the risk of health.” Although the proposal was made without identifying specific risks and impacts or environmental damage from current practices. The extent agreed by Members is a total ban on the import of any radioactive waste materials for incineration.

Resolution on the adoption of the proposal was adopted by the National Council by a majority of its votes. The law is effective retroactively from September 1st, 2021, but does not affect contracts concluded before that date.

JAVYS provides processing of radioactive waste for Slovak and foreign clients. The main activity is the processing of radioactive waste from the decommissioning of Slovak nuclear power plants. It currently processes 865 tonnes of low-level radioactive material from the decommissioned Caorso nuclear power plant. The work is to be completed by 2023. It also occasionally processes some types of radioactive waste for ČEZ.

Change of authority for nuclear transport

Other amendments to the Slovak Environmental Act in the same resolution transferred competences for permitting the transport of radioactive material from the Ministry of Transport and Construction to the Public Health Ministry. The Public Health Ministry already has a leading role in radiation protection. The government said this was a more meaningful arrangement and in line with other countries.

Related sources

Budaj chce zakázať spaľovanie zahraničného rádioaktívneho odpadu

Slovensko už nebude smetiskom rádioaktívneho odpadu

Šéf JAVYS Pavol Štuller: Spaľovanie rádioaktívneho odpadu je high-tech, patríme k špičke