Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that all of the country’s nuclear power plants remained under the control of the national operator and there were no new reports of potential threats to the sites, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said, reiterating his continued grave concern about the conflict and its potential consequences.
In its latest regular update to the IAEA, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) said it was communicating regularly with the plants and they were continuing to operate safely and securely. Their physical protection systems were in regular mode and the radiation levels at the sites were also normal, it added.
Earlier this week, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry informed the IAEA that Russian military forces were advancing close to the largest of the sites – the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in eastern Ukraine. As the Agency reported on 28 February, additional information received on that day from the operator confirmed that the Russian forces were near the site but had not entered it.
Director General Grossi has repeatedly stressed that any military or other action that could threaten the safety or security of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants – 15 reactors at four sites – must be avoided.
“I remain gravely concerned about the situation in Ukraine, especially regarding the safety and security of its nuclear power plants,” he said. “I renew my strong appeal to avoid any potential danger or threat to these facilities as any accident could have very severe consequences.”
“I also want to express my deep admiration and sincere gratitude for the tireless work, vigilance and bravery of the personnel operating the nuclear power plants, other nuclear facilities, and the staff of the regulator. We can all be very thankful for their determined and courageous efforts to ensure continued nuclear safety and security,” he added.
SNRIU said that all radioactive waste disposal facilities of the State Specialized Enterprise Radon were operating as usual, and the radiation monitoring systems did not indicate any deviations from normal values. On 27 February, the SNRIU informed the IAEA that missiles had hit the site of such a facility in the capital Kyiv, but there was no damage to the building and no reports of a radioactive release.
Ukraine last week informed the IAEA that Russian forces had taken control of the facilities of the State Specialized Enterprise Chornobyl NPP, located within the Exclusion Zone set up after the 1986 accident. The regulator said today that radiation levels around the facility were being monitored and did not exceed usual levels. Available plant personnel have not changed since last week and they are operating in shifts, it added.
The IAEA continues to closely monitor developments in Ukraine, with a special focus on the safety and security of its nuclear power reactors. The IAEA remains in constant contact with its counterpart and will continue to provide regular updates on the situation in Ukraine.