Head of project “STEP to safety” Helen Salnik: “It’s extremely important to create a system of handling with radioactive sources”
The project of radioactive safety “STEP to safety” is being implemented in Dnipropetrovsk region which’d been chosen to be the test region. The project is aimed at informing the population about radioactive safety measures concerning lost sources of emitting.
After the USSR collapse plenty of industrial enterprises went bankrupt. As a result a great number of containers with radioactive content were lost around the country. Until 2016 Criminal Code of Ukraine contained an article which meant criminal liability for radioactive sources handling. In 2016 some amendments were made. It allowed avoiding criminal liability in case of informing law enforcement about a dangerous find.
According to Head of the project “STEP to safety” Helen Salnik, it is aimed to inform people how to behave with things marked with radiation hazard signs in order not to put oneself in danger and threat of criminal prosecution.
“It’s extremely important to create clear understanding about inadmissibility of unauthorized usage of such sources. It is forbidden to sell them. Moreover these do not have any value but each attempt to sell comes under the radar at once. For example a man tried to sell 17 smoke detectors in Lviv. Each of those had a special mark of radiation hazard so a man knew perfectly well what he was selling. Just after an arrest he understood who was a buyer”, - she says.
Helen Salnik stresses that it is of great necessity to implement such a project not only in Dnipropetrovsk region but also in all-Ukrainian scale.
“It is necessary to retell people about the danger of using such objects. For example if the man knew rules I think he wouldn’t go to sell those detectors. Illegal handling with radioactive materials is punishable with 2-5 years of prison. In case of harm to the State is punished with 5-8 years of prison. In case of reoffending it is punishable with about 15 years of prison”, - she retells.
Head of the project “STEP to safety” adds that 28 people have been convicted from 2016 to 2019.
“Comparely with the number of thefts such a rate is negligible. But if we just imagine the effects of such handling,it is getting scary”, - Helen Salnik says.