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Update 190 - IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

Powerful explosions shook an area near Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant (KhNPP) overnight, shattering many windows at the site and temporarily cutting power to some off-site radiation monitoring stations, once again highlighting the dangers to nuclear safety and security during the ongoing military conflict, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today.

IAEA experts present at the plant in western Ukraine said air raid sirens went off at 1:26am local time, followed later in the morning by the sound of two loud explosions. They were subsequently informed that two drones had been shot down at a distance of approximately five and 20 kilometres from the site, respectively.

“This incident again underlines the extremely precarious nuclear safety situation in Ukraine, which will continue as long as this tragic war goes on. The fact that numerous windows at the site were destroyed shows just how close it was. Next time, we may not be so fortunate,” Director General Grossi said. “Hitting a nuclear power plant must be avoided at all costs.”

There was no direct impact from the drones on the site and the blasts did not affect the KhNPP’s operations or its connection to the national electricity grid. However, the shockwaves damaged the windows of several buildings at the site, including the passageway to the reactor buildings, an integrated auxiliary building, a special equipment building, the training centre, as well as other facilities, the plant said. The seismic monitoring stations installed in the vicinity of the KhNPP also recorded the seismic impacts of the blasts.

The IAEA experts later observed some of the shattered windows at the site. The exact extent of the damage is currently being assessed by the IAEA team and further information will be provided.

A power outage in the nearby region of Slavuta forced two of the plant’s 11 off-site radiation monitoring stations to temporarily rely on back-up power supplies before external electricity was restored in the afternoon. Furthermore, as a result of damage sustained in the nearby town of Netishyn, some KhNPP staff were working from home, the plant said.

The KhNPP has two reactors, of which one is currently operating, and one is in planned outage since early August.

The IAEA was notified about these events also via the Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine.





Last update: 07 May 2024

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