Vienna, 10 June 2020 (TDI): IAEA Director General, Rafael Mariano, reaffirmed the need for an expert mission to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. The facility is currently under the charge of the Russian military.

The existing conditions at the nuclear power plant, he said, are unsustainable. Every day, there are delays in work maintenance, and supply chain disruptions are creating a halt in the delivery of critical equipment.

The Ukrainian personnel are unable to make decisions. He noted that Ukraine’s regulator’s independent work and assessments are being undermined, and the risk of an accident or a security breach is increasing.

The armed conflict must end to preserve the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and people.

IAEA Director General’s address

The IAEA Director General announced that he is actively trying to agree on and organize an international mission to the Zaporizhzhya plant led by the IAEA. At the facility, the mission will perform critical nuclear safety, security, and safeguards tasks.

In addition, he voiced significant concern about the plant’s Ukrainian management and personnel performing under extremely stressful and difficult working conditions. At least five of the seven critical pillars of nuclear safety and security have been jeopardized. As a result, he continued, IAEA safety and security experts must visit the site and observe it.

Also, the IAEA Director General went on to say that IAEA safeguards inspectors must continue to perform their essential, routine verification activities. The plant’s operations must adhere to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol signed by Ukraine.

This is due to a more than week-long interruption in the transmission of safeguards information to the IAEA. He also mentioned the Ukrainian government’s request for the IAEA to send a mission to Zaporizhzhya.

The IAEA Director General stated that the expedition is an obligation for both Ukraine and the IAEA, and that the IAEA will travel to Zaporizhzhya NPP under the legally enforceable safeguards agreement that Ukraine has with the IAEA.

Similarly, comparable missions have yielded substantial results. IAEA experts re-established the transmission of safeguards information to the IAEA at Chornobyl. It made critical radiation measurements in the environment, evaluated Ukraine’s needs, and provided a first batch of equipment.

IAEA-Ukraine collaboration

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is collaborating closely with Ukraine to determine what needs to be done to ensure the greatest degree of safety and security at the country’s nuclear sites. They are still putting in place nuclear safeguards.

This emerged as a result of the infractions that occurred on the 24th of February at the Zaporizhzhya facility. As a result, the IEC is on high alert and has been since, with staff on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Furthermore, military activity, according to the IAEA Director General, has jeopardized the safety of radioactive sources. There has been infrastructure damage at Ukraine’s Neutron Source and other nuclear sites have been damaged.

It also caused damage to waste storage facilities and posed a risk of collateral harm at nuclear power plants. This has had a variety of detrimental effects on the plants in Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhya, as well as their employees.

Despite this, the IAEA and Ukraine have been able to create and begin implementing a comprehensive support program. This program has received support from member states.

This will aid in the preservation of nuclear safety and security’s seven fundamental foundations. This is the first time a military confrontation has erupted near a major nuclear energy program’s installations.

Moreover, the IAEA was able to construct an Assistance Action Plan using a combination of remote and on-the-ground technical assistance. It allowed them to conduct in-depth analyses of Ukraine’s security and safety requirements.

So far, eleven IAEA Member States have offered to deliver specialized equipment to Ukraine through the IAEA’s Response and Assistance Network (RANET).

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