IAEA on the Status of Ukraine's Nuclear Security

PeopleOther ♦ Published: May 15, 2022; 23:18 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Russian aggression on Ukraine threatens Ukraine's nuclear security. The IAEA reports new news regarding Ukraine's nuclear safety. The data link to Chernobyl is fully operational again, but the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control, allows only limited access for IAEA personnel.

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and it is currently under Russian control. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons /Ralf1969, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens Ukraine's nuclear security. The country has a large nuclear infrastructure with 15 nuclear reactors. The safety of these nuclear power plants is improving, but there is still the threat by the Russian military operations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that remote transmission of safeguards data from Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has been fully re-established.

For the first time since the two months of interruption at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, remote data from all sites in Ukraine with such systems has been transferred to the IAEA Headquarters in full.

Due to the visit of safeguards inspectors and technicians to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on 26-27 April 2022, the Agency has deployed new transmission channels based on satellite technology, as well as conducted other technical work.

However, there is still one nuclear power plant which the IAEA has limited access. This is the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and it's under Russian control.

Director-General Grossi of the IAEA emphasized its concerns, “However, implementing safeguards also includes in-field verification activities. The situation at Zaporizhzhya NPP continues to be challenging owing to the presence of Russian forces and Rosatom personnel at the site. Although the IAEA continues to adjust its safeguards activities, the situation is unsustainable. I have therefore proposed to lead a visit to Zaporizhzhya NPP, including safeguards inspectors and nuclear safety and security experts, after the necessary consultations and at the earliest possible opportunity."

As far as Ukraine's 15 reactors at its four nuclear power plants go, seven are running at present, including two at the Zaporizhzhya plant controlled by Russia, two at Rivne, two at South Ukraine, and one at Khmelnytskyy. The eight other reactors are shut down for maintenance or being held in reserve, Ukraine said. The four plant's safety systems continue to work, and there is off-site power available, Ukraine said, as reported by the Agency.

International Atomic Energy Agency