Friday, 25, September, 2020

President of Uzbekistan signed the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy Bill into Law. The basic principles of the use of atomic energy are:

  • protection of life and health ofindividuals, property of natural and legal entities, as well as environmental protection;
  • security;
  • access to information;
  • ban on production of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

The document describes the rights of citizens to participate in the use of atomic energy. They are entitled to:

  • participate in the discussion of draft state programs and regulations in the field of atomic energy use, issues of placement, design, construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities and storage facilities and make suggestions;
  • recommend their representatives to participate in the examination of the safety of nuclear facilities;
  • request and receive from state bodies information on the safety of existing and planned nuclear facilities and storage facilities, with the exception of information constituting state secrets and other secrets protected by law;
  • visit nuclear facilities and storage facilities for informational purposes in the manner established by the government;
  • assist in the implementation of measures for the use of atomic energy.

Citizens exposed to radiation shall be entitled to receive a document on the radiation dose issued in the manner and in the form approved by the Ministry of Health.

The law also establishes the procedure for the placement and construction of a nuclear unit, for example, a nuclear power station or research reactor, and a storage facility, operation, transportation of nuclear materials and radioactive substances, import and export of nuclear units, nuclear materials, radioactive substances and waste, their storage, processing and burial.

Decision on the construction of a nuclear installation is made by the President of Uzbekistan at the proposal of the Cabinet of Ministers. The decision to choose a site for placement is made by the government. Only the president can cancel the decision on the construction of the plant at the suggestion of the government, which, in turn, should rely on the justification of the safety expert opinion.

In the area where the nuclear unit or storage facility is located, the following special areas are established:

  • sanitary protection zone - a special territory with a special regimen;
  • security zone - a territory with a special legal regimen.

In the sanitary protection zone, the placement of residential premises and public buildings is prohibited. In the observation area, business restrictions may be imposed. In the sanitary protection zone and the observation zone, the radiation situation is monitored.

The special legal regimen of the security zone includes restrictions on the entry and stay of individuals in it, on flights of aircraft (including planes) over the territory of the security zone, and on the right to conduct economic and business activities.

Only the processed products obtained from radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, previously exported from the country, are allowed into the territory of Uzbekistan. As previously reported, the spent fuel of the Uzbek nuclear power plant will be processed in Russia, and the resulting radioactive waste will be stored in Uzbekistan in accordance with international standards.

In addition, the law describes the procedure for organizing emergency preparedness and emergency response, developing an external and internal emergency plan, and also establishes liability for losses and damage caused by radiation exposure.

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