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Update 38 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 20:06 CEST

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, arrived in Kaliningrad today for talks with senior Russian officials tomorrow morning. This follows his detailed discussions yesterday with senior Ukrainian government officials at South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to review the concrete steps that need to be taken to immediately deliver urgent technical assistance for nuclear safety and security to Ukraine. Director General Grossi will return to the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters on Friday and hold a press conference later in the afternoon.

Ukraine today informed the IAEA that the Russian forces that have been in control of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) since 24 February had, in writing, transferred control of the NPP to Ukrainian personnel and moved two convoys of troops towards Belarus. A third convoy had also left the city of Slavutych, where many of the Chornobyl NPP staff live, and moved towards Belarus. In addition, Ukraine reported that there are still some Russian forces on the Chornobyl NPP site but presumed that those forces are preparing to leave.

Ukraine has not reported any staff rotation at the Chornobyl NPP since 20-21 March.

The IAEA is in close consultations with Ukrainian authorities on sending the Agency’s first assistance and support mission to the Chornobyl NPP in the next few days, Director General Grossi said.

The IAEA has not been able to confirm reports of Russian forces receiving high doses of radiation while being in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. The IAEA is seeking further information in order to provide an independent assessment of the situation.

Out of the country’s 15 operational reactors at four sites, the regulator said nine were operating, including two at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya NPP, four 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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