IAEA Chief Ensures Safety Of Ukraine Nuclear Facilities

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Mariano Grossi is in Ukraine to ensure the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities and help avert the risk of an accident that could endanger people and environment.

“The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, is in Ukraine for talks with senior government officials on the IAEA’s planned delivery of urgent technical assistance to ensure the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities and help avert the risk of an accident that could endanger people and the environment,” an IAEA statement said on Tuesday.

IAEA noted that the aim of Grossi’s visit is to initiate prompt safety and security support to Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, adding that it will include sending IAEA experts to prioritized facilities and shipment of vital safety and security supplies including monitoring and emergency equipment.

“The military conflict is putting Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and other facilities with radioactive material in unprecedented danger. We must take urgent action to make sure that they can continue to operate safely and securely and reduce the risk of a nuclear accident that could have severe health and environmental impact …in Ukraine and beyond,” Grossi said.

IAEA said it has drawn up concrete and detailed plans for safety and security assistance to Ukraine’s nuclear sites, which include 15 nuclear power reactors at four plants as well as the Chornobyl NPP, where radioactive waste management facilities are located following the 1986 accident. The IAEA’s technical assistance will also facilitate conditions for the IAEA to continue carrying out its safeguards activities in Ukraine in line with its non-proliferation mandate.

“Ukraine has requested our assistance for safety and security. We will now start delivering it. Ukraine has one of Europe’s largest nuclear power programmes. The IAEA’s presence, where needed to ensure safety and security, is of paramount importance. We are ready to provide the necessary support now,” it said.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Grossi has expressed his grave concern about the deteriorating safety and security situation for Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.

He has stressed the IAEA’s commitment and readiness to help ensure that the seven indispensable pillars for ensuring safety and security are adhered to.

“In recent weeks, several of them – including the physical integrity of facilities, the ability of operational staff to work without undue pressure, and the access to off-site power – have been seriously compromised,” the statement said.

“There have already been several close calls. We can’t afford to lose any more time. This conflict is already causing unimaginable human suffering and destruction. The IAEA’s expertise and capabilities are needed to prevent it from also leading to a nuclear accident,” Grossi said according to the statement.

The Director General is expected to hold a press conference upon his return to Vienna later this week.

Grossi also tweeted about his mission in Ukraine.

“Just crossed the border into #Ukraine to start @IAEAorg’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities. We must act now to help prevent the danger of a nuclear accident,” he said. (ANI)

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