09 Jun 2022
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano this morning reiterated the need for an expert mission to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, the site of which is under the control of Russian forces.
“The current situation is untenable. Every day it continues; every day that vital maintenance work is delayed; every day that supply chain interruptions cause a break in the delivery of vital equipment; every day the decision-making ability of Ukrainian staff is compromised; every day the independent work and assessments of Ukraine’s regulator are undermined; the risk of an accident or a security breach increases,” Mr Grossi said.
He said IAEA safeguards inspectors must be able to continue to fulfil their regular, indispensable verification activities at the plant in line with Ukraine’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and that the transmission of safeguards information to the IAEA had now been interrupted for more than a week.
Mr Grossi said the Ukrainian government at the highest levels has requested that the IAEA send a mission to Zaporizhzhya: “This mission is not a matter of wanting or wishing, it is an obligation on the side of Ukraine and on the side of the IAEA. The IAEA will go to Zaporizhzhya NPP under the legally binding safeguards agreement that Ukraine has with the IAEA.”
Mr Grossi detailed how on 24 February the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) was activated and that on the night and early morning of 3 and 4 March, the physical integrity of the site of the Zaporizhzhya plant was violated. For the first time since 2011, the IEC went to the highest alert level and has remained on alert since with teams on-call 24/7.
Mr Grossi said that military action has compromised the safety of radiation sources; destroyed infrastructure at Ukraine’s Neutron Source and other nuclear facilities; damaged waste repositories; threatened collateral damage at nuclear power plants and has negatively impacted the plants in Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhya, and their staff, in multiple ways.
12 Jun 2022
The transfer of safeguards data from IAEA systems installed at the ZNPP was cut on 30 May and re-established earlier today. The images recorded by IAEA surveillance cameras during this time period are now being downloaded for review by Agency inspectors to confirm that continuity of knowledge has not been lost.
The interval of physical inventory verifications at NPPs cannot exceed a specified duration. This is particularly critical at two of the units at ZNPP. In addition, these units have been refuelled in recent months and a physical verification of the nuclear material therein is a safeguards pre-requisite before re-starting them.
“If I am not able to dispatch inspectors to perform the required verification at ZNPP, implementation of safeguards in Ukraine will be compromised,” Director General Grossi added.
24 Jun 2022
The IAEA is aware of recent reports in the media and elsewhere indicating a deteriorating situation for Ukrainian staff at the country’s largest nuclear power plant (NPP), Director General Grossi said.
“The situation at this major nuclear power plant is clearly untenable. We are informed that Ukrainian staff are operating the facility under extremely stressful conditions while the site is under the control of Russian armed forces. The recent reports are very troubling and further deepen my concern about the well-being of personnel there,” he said.
27 Jun 2022
Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that shelling had caused additional damage to a nuclear research facility in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv on 25 June, but that radiation levels at the site remained normal, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.
The facility is designed to conduct research – in areas such as nuclear physics, radiation materials science, biology and chemistry – and radioisotope production for medical applications. Its nuclear assembly is subcritical, and the radioactive inventory is low. Before the conflict, the facility was under commissioning, but it is not currently operating.
The facility has been hit previously during the conflict and it lost its external power supply in March.
In the latest shelling, Ukraine told the IAEA that the facility’s infrastructure, including the cooling system and the diesel generator building, had been damaged. However, the diesel generator remained available if needed, it said.
Measurements carried out with a portable dosimeter on the same day showed that the radiation background in the experimental hall of the Neutron Source building was “within the standard limits”, Ukraine said.
29 Jun 2022
The International Atomic Energy Agency has once again lost the remote connection to its safeguards surveillance systems installed at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), further underlining the need for the IAEA to go there very soon, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.
But the connection was lost again on 25 June, due to a disruption of the facility’s communication systems, Director General Grossi said, citing the assessment of IAEA technicians at its headquarters.