IAEA: Danger signs at an “occupied” nuclear site in Ukraine 2022-04-27 15:45:27


The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that the level of security at Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which is currently under Russian military occupation in Ukraine, is like a “blinking red light” as his organization is trying in vain to gain access to the site.

Rafael Grossi said the IAEA needs access to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine so that its inspectors can, among other things, re-establish site communications with the Vienna-based UN agency’s headquarters.

Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors give it one of the largest nuclear power capabilities in the world, and the Russian invasion has turned parts of the country into a nuclear minefield.

Repeatedly since the invasion, nuclear experts have watched with concern the uncomfortably close proximity of Russian forces to several nuclear plants in Ukraine.

Grossi said the Zaporizhzhia plant needs repairs.

“There are two active units, in active operation…other units are under repair or in cooling mode. There are some technical activities and activities as well as inspection activities to be done,” Grossi said.

“So the situation as I described it, and I would like to repeat it today, is not sustainable as it is,” he said.

So this is an outstanding issue. This red light is blinking. “

Members of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps fire a howitzer, as Russia's offensive on Ukraine continues, at a site in Zaporizhzhya region, Ukraine on March 28, 2022.
Members of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps fire a howitzer, as Russia’s offensive on Ukraine continues, at a position in the Zaporizhia region, Ukraine. [File: Stanislav Yurchenko/Reuters]

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency spoke in an interview on Wednesday with the Associated Press, a day after he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the issue.

“It is understood that my Ukrainian counterparts do not want IAEA inspectors to go to one of their own facilities under the authority of a third country,” Grossi said.

I had a long conversation about this with President Zelensky last night, and it is still something that requires consultations. We haven’t gotten there yet.”

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said he was continuing to pressure the Russian government to gain access to the Zaporizhzhya plant.

“I don’t see a move in that direction as we speak,” he said.

But he will meet with the Russian side “soon”.


safety factor in Chernobyl The nuclear power plant told how Russian planes flew over the damaged reactor site and that Russian forces dug trenches in the highly radioactive dirt. On Monday, Russian cruise missiles flew over the Khmelnytskyi nuclear plant in western Ukraine.

“There can be no military action in or around a nuclear power plant,” Grossi said, adding that he had appealed to Russia about the matter.

He added: “It is unprecedented to have a war in the midst of one of the largest nuclear infrastructures in the world, which, of course, leads to a number of fragile or weak points that can of course be exploited, intentionally or unintentionally.”

So this requires a lot of activity and cooperation on our part. cooperation from the Russian side. Understanding from the Ukrainian side so that we can avoid an accident.”

Chernobyl nuclear power plant
The construction of the shelter covers the explosive reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear plan [File: Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo]

I can not stop

On the Iranian nuclear issue, Grossi said his agency is still trying to clarify Tehran’s answers to outstanding questions regarding the effects of man-made enriched uranium at three sites in the country.

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency They have been trying to resolve a series of issues between them since the collapse of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, including regaining access to footage from surveillance cameras at the country’s atomic sites.

He acknowledged that Iran’s ability to enrich uranium since the collapse of the deal has expanded because it uses more advanced centrifuges. Tehran recently moved a centrifuge workshop to its underground Natanz nuclear facility after a suspected Israeli attack.

“They are moving the production capacity of the centrifuges to a place where they feel most protected,” Grossi said.

Iran has long insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful.

Russia Invasion of UkraineAlong with US and European support for Ukraine in the conflict, tension between Russia and the West has increased, but “it is necessary for us to look for commonalities despite these difficulties,” Grossi said.

We can’t stop. We have to go on. He said about global nuclear safety.