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Update 76 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plans to send its next nuclear safety, security and safeguards mission to Ukraine’s Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the coming weeks, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.

“Our on-the-ground assistance will concentrate on radiation protection, safety of waste management, and nuclear security,” the Director General said in a video statement about the IAEA’s efforts to help ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and maintain its safeguards activities in the country during the current military conflict.

“The safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities remains my top priority,” he said.

Director General Grossi personally led the IAEA’s previous two assistance missions to Ukraine, travelling to the South Ukraine NPP in late March and to Chornobyl about a month later. The next mission to Chornobyl will consist of IAEA safety and security experts as well as safeguards inspectors. They will continue their work from the previous visit to the site of the 1986 accident, which was occupied by Russian forces for five weeks before they withdraw on 31 March.

Director General Grossi is now also focused on agreeing, organizing and leading an IAEA mission to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya NPP, to carry out important nuclear safety, security and safeguards work at this site in the country’s south.

“The IAEA is perfectly positioned to ensure Ukraine gets what it needs efficiently and quickly,” he said in today’s statement. “At the IAEA we never stop, not even for a single minute. That’s true today and will be as long as Ukraine needs our assistance.”

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

Regarding the country’s 15 operational reactors at four NPPs, Ukraine said eight are currently connected to the grid, including two at the 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. Safety systems remain operational at the four NPPs, and they also continue to have off-site power available, Ukraine said.

In relation to safeguards, IAEA headquarters is receiving remote safeguards data from the Chornobyl NPP as well as from the four operational plants in Ukraine. This follows last week’s full re-establishment of such transmission from Chornobyl.

Last update: 19 May 2022

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