The IAEA in Ukraine


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it has “drawn up concrete and detailed plans for safety and security assistance to Ukraine’s nuclear sites”. The Director General of the IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi (pictured), is in Ukraine “for talks with senior government officials on the IAEA’s planned delivery of urgent technical assistance to ensure the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities and help avert the risk of an accident that could endanger people and the environment”.

On Wednesday, Grossi traveled to the South Ukraine nuclear power plant to meet with officials, saying “It is vital to be on the ground in order to provide effective support to Ukraine in these extremely difficult times”.

However, specifics on precisely how the IAEA can better secure Ukraine’s nuclear plants in wartime remains somewhat vague. The IAEA website says the agency’s actions will “include sending IAEA experts to prioritized facilities and the shipment of vital safety and security supplies including monitoring and emergency equipment.”

The IAEA also says it will “facilitate conditions for the IAEA to continue carrying out its safeguards activities in Ukraine in line with its non-proliferation mandate”.

However, if Russian claims about scaling down military action in Kyiv and other key areas in the western part of the country are to be believed — and on Wednesday Russian bombardments continued there —experts fear that there will instead be an escalation in the east. The Zaporozhe six-reactor site, already hit by shelling and occupied by the Russian military, would then again be potentially within an area of increased fighting.

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