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Update 36 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 18:59

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.

The aim of the Director General’s visit is to initiate prompt safety and security support to Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. It will include sending IAEA experts to prioritized facilities and the shipment of vital safety and security supplies including monitoring and emergency equipment. Please see here for more details.

In today’s regular update about the situation regarding safety and security at the country’s nuclear facilities, Ukraine said there had been no change in staffing at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which is controlled by Russian forces since 24 February. There has been no staff rotation there since 20-21 March, when technical personnel who had worked at the facility for nearly four weeks were replaced by colleagues from the nearby city of Slavutych.

Ukraine reported no new developments also regarding a nuclear research facility in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, a day after it said the facility had suffered additional damage when it came under renewed fire a few days ago. The facility’s nuclear material is subcritical – there can be no nuclear chain reaction – and the radioactive inventory is low.

Out of the country’s 15 operational reactors at four sites, the regulator said eight were continuing to operate, including two at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at Rivne, one at Khmelnytskyy, and two at South Ukraine. The other reactors are shut down for regular maintenance, it added.

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.

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