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Update 29 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 19:16 CET

Ukraine has not reported any major new developments related to nuclear safety over the past 24 hours, with the regulator today informing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that safety systems are continuing to function at the country’s four operating nuclear power plants and radiation levels remain at normal levels, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

At the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), whose last reactor was shut down more than two decades ago, a new shift of technical personnel was in place after the long-delayed staff rotation that began at the weekend was completed yesterday, the regulator said. It was the first change of Ukrainian personnel there since Russian forces took control of the area on 24 February. Various radioactive waste management facilities are now located at the site of the 1986 accident.

The IAEA is aware of media reports of forest fires in the area near the Chernobyl site and is seeking further information about the situation from its Ukrainian counterpart. The regulator informed the IAEA last week that it was closely monitoring the situation in the Chornobyl NPP Exclusion Zone ahead of the annual “fire season” when spontaneous fires often occur in the area, still contaminated by radioactive material from the accident 36 years ago next month.

Of Ukraine’s 15 reactors, located at four sites, the regulator said eight were now operating, including two at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at Rivne, one at Khmelnytskyy, and two at South Ukraine. Personnel at the four operating plants were rotating in eight-hour shifts, also at the Zaporizhzhya NPP.

In relation to safeguards, the Agency said that the situation remained unchanged from that reported previously. The Agency was still not receiving remote data transmission from its monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl NPP, but such data was being transferred to IAEA headquarters from the other NPPs in Ukraine.


Last update: 24 Mar 2022

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