IAEA Observers Will Remain Permanently in Chernobyl

OrganizationsInternational Organizations ♦ Published: January 18, 2023; 22:26 ♦ (Vindobona)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will establish a permanent observing mission in Tschernobyl. This is to prevent accidents from happening at nuclear reactors.

The IAEA Will Establish a Permanent Observer Mission in Chernobyl. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Jason Minshull, Public Domain

With the constant presence of its experts in Chernobyl, the IAEA wants to prevent further attacks on the Ukrainian accident reactor. That is what IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said today in the facility near the Belarusian border when his agency's observer mission began work. "We hope that there will be no further occupation or attack on the power plant," Grossi said, according to ORF.

Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, Russian troops occupied the former Chernobyl power plant for five weeks. The failure of the power supply to cool the nuclear waste at the facility has raised international concerns about another radiation accident. In 1986 there was a devastating nuclear accident in Chernobyl, as it is reported in Arriva.

According to ORF, Grossi traveled to Ukraine earlier this week to permanently deploy small IAEA teams in Chernobyl and three operating nuclear power plants in Ukraine. The presence of international observers should not only reduce the risk of Russian attacks, but the experts should also constantly report on the security of the plants and provide technical assistance.

The IAEA stationed a small team in the fourth Ukrainian nuclear power plant in southern Zaporizhia last year. The plant is under Russian occupation but is operated by Ukrainian employees. Grossi's proposal for a non-aggression zone around the nuclear power plant has not yet been implemented, according to Arriva.