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Update 46 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 18:21 CEST

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is preparing comprehensive assistance packages and finalizing logistical preparations for several nuclear safety, security and safeguards missions to Ukraine in the coming weeks, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.

Stressing the urgent need to deliver technical support to reduce the risk of a nuclear accident during the conflict, the Director General said he is consulting and coordinating closely with Ukraine on both the specific content of the IAEA’s assistance to its nuclear facilities as well as on the schedule for the expert missions that are expected to start later this month.

The IAEA will be the “single point of contact” for such international technical assistance to Ukraine and it is in discussions with the many countries that have expressed interest in backing its efforts to help ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, he added. The IAEA will also send inspectors to carry out safeguards activities in Ukraine in line with its non-proliferation mandate.

Signalling strong support, the Non-Proliferation Directors Group of the G7 – comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – on Thursday issued a statement welcoming “Director General Grossi’s efforts as a major contribution to nuclear safety and security in Ukraine”. They underlined “full and continued support for the Agency”.

“The IAEA provided some concrete assistance in the form of radiation monitoring equipment during my visit to the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant last week, but much more is needed. We are ready to transport spare parts and components to Ukraine and to provide expert assessments and advice, both on- and off-site. In the coming weeks, we will shift our assistance activities into a much higher gear,” he said. “To be able to do this, we will also rely on the continued support of our partners.”

Director General Grossi said the IAEA’s priority was to send safety, security and safeguards staff to the Chornobyl NPP as soon as it is possible. They would conduct a radiological assessment, deliver safety-related equipment, and restore the online safeguards monitoring system at the site, which was controlled by Russian forces for five weeks before their withdrawal on 31 March.

Ukraine separately informed the IAEA today that there had been no other developments related to nuclear safety and security over the past 24 hours.

Regarding Ukraine’s 15 operational reactors at four sites, eight are currently connected to the grid, including two at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at the Rivne NPP, two at the South Ukraine NPP, and one at the Khmelnytskyy NPP. The seven other reactors are shut down for regular maintenance or held in reserve.

In relation to safeguards, the IAEA 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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