Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards in Ukraine

24 February 2022 marked the beginning of the armed conflict in Ukraine and the first time in history that this has occurred amid the facilities of a major nuclear power programme. Numerous events, such as shelling, air attacks, difficulties with staffing levels and working conditions and losses of off-site power supply, impacted nuclear safety and security on-site.

Two nuclear facilities have come under the control of Russian armed forces: the Chornobyl nuclear power plant site, between 24 February and 31 March 2022, and the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant on 4 March 2022, which currently remains under Russian Federation control.  The IAEA promptly took steps to help stabilize the critical nuclear safety and security situation and prevent a nuclear accident in Ukraine.

The IAEA remains fully focused on helping to prevent a nuclear accident during this devastating war.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi

The IAEA has been closely monitoring and assessing the situation in Ukraine on a daily basis, prioritizing nuclear safety and security implications, alongside ongoing verification activities. Through issuing regular updates and reports, the Agency consistently shares objective and impartial information with its Member States, the public and the international community.

The IAEA has developed and implemented a comprehensive programme of assistance to address requests from Ukrainian authorities to support Ukraine in maintaining continued nuclear safety and security, including through the continued presence of Agency staff at all five Ukrainian nuclear power plant sites.

Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has frequently travelled to Ukraine to lead IAEA missions to assess the situation and conduct high-level talks.

The Seven Indispensable Pillars

In March 2022, the IAEA developed the ‘Seven Indispensable Pillars ’ to tailor the assessment of the nuclear safety and security situation in Ukraine to the context of the ongoing armed conflict, providing an efficient way to assess the most pressing and important aspects that need to be maintained for the safe and secure operation of the nuclear facilities in Ukraine. 

Aligned with the IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance, the Seven Indispensable Pillars are:  

The Seven Indispensable Pillars

The Five Concrete Principles

Since the beginning of the armed conflict in Ukraine, the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (ZNPP) has been very precarious, prompting extensive measures to protect the plant and avoid a nuclear accident. This included discussions of the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi with high-level officials that culminated with the establishment of the ‘Five Concrete Principles’ outlined during his address to the UN Security Council on 30 May 2023. Since then, the observance of the Five Concrete Principles has been monitored by the Agency staff at the ZNPP. 

The Five Concrete Principles are: 

The Five Concrete Principles

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