Update 2 - IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
International Atomic Energy Agency
26 Feb 2022
Ukraine today informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the country's nuclear power plants remained stable and in normal operation, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said, reiterating the necessity to avoid any action that could risk their safety or security.
In a new update to the IAEA, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) also said its staff maintained regular contacts with the plants. Ukraine has four nuclear power sites with a total of 15 reactors, providing roughly half of its electricity.
Director General Grossi said he continued to be gravely concerned about the situation in Ukraine and he called on all parties to refrain from any measures or actions that could jeopardize the security of nuclear material, and the safe operation of all nuclear facilities, as any such incident could have severe consequences for human health and the environment.
"The safety and security of nuclear sites and material in Ukraine must under no circumstances be endangered. For now, the plants are operating as normal and their nuclear material remains under control. It is of paramount importance that this continues to be the case and that plant staff remain able to carry out their vital work without any undue pressure or stress," Director General Grossi said.
Ukraine has previously informed the IAEA that Russian forces have taken control of the facilities of the State Specialized Enterprise Chornobyl NPP (Nuclear Power Plant), located within the Exclusion Zone set up after the 1986 accident. The regulator said in an update this morning that the site continued to operate normally. However, the regulator also said that the staff on duty had not changed since 24 February. Director General Grossi said the operations of the zone's nuclear facilities should not be affected or disrupted in any way and that staff must be able to work and rest as normal. He called upon those in effective control of nuclear facilities not to take any actions that could compromise their safety.
On Friday, the regulator reported elevated radiation levels at the Chornobyl site, possibly caused by heavy military vehicles churning up contaminated soil, but the IAEA assessed that the radiation readings remained low and did not pose any danger to the public. No further radiation data from the Exclusion Zone has been received.
Near the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, the SNRIU said an electrical transformer at a low-level radioactive waste disposal site had been damaged, but no release of radioactive material was reported. The Director General indicated this should be a clear and cautionary indication of the compelling need to avoid endangering the safety of any nuclear facility.
The IAEA continues to closely monitor developments in Ukraine, with a special focus on the safety and security of its nuclear reactors. The IAEA remains in constant contact with its counterpart and will provide regular updates on the situation in Ukraine.
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