Chornobyl, 20 May 2022 (TDI): The wildfires in Ukraine near Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) did not pose a radioactive threat to the people.

Director-General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi ruled out the chances of radioactive threats from the wildfires at the Chornobyl nuclear disaster site.

The Chornobyl nuclear power facility is located 110 kilometers north of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. The world’s largest nuclear disaster occurred at this NPP in April 1986. The site has been declared unsafe due to radioactive waste and contamination.

According to official sources in Ukraine, the gamma radiation levels in the vicinity of the Chornobyl NPP were not exceeding the reference levels.

Rafael Mariano Grossi said that such fire incidents could enhance radioactive concentration in the air. He also informed that IAEA agreed with Ukraine’s assessment that it would not constitute a danger to human health.

Sometimes fires occur in contaminated areas by radioactive material from the 1986 accident at the onset of the summer season. Ukraine also informed about wildfires in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, established thirty-six years ago.

The wildfires didn’t pose any significant radiological concern. Ukraine also informed the IAEA that there had been no significant developments related to nuclear safety and security over the past 24 hours.

Nuclear reactors in Ukraine

According to the official sources, eight of the fifteen NPP are operational and connected to the grid, including two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at the Rivne NPP, two at South Ukraine, and one at the Khmelnytskyy NPP.

The other reactors are shut down for maintenance or held in reserve. Safety systems remain operational at the four NPPs, and they also continue to have off-site power available, Ukraine declared.

Earlier, IAEA confirmed the reestablishment of remote transmission of safeguards data from Ukraine’s NPP on 12 May. The organization is still receiving remote safeguards data from Chornobyl NPP and four other operational nuclear plants in Ukraine.

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