The head of the UN nuclear watchdog met with government officials in Ukraine yesterday to discuss about providing assistance to keep nuclear facilities safe in the midst of the war with Russia.
Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) yesterday to review and deliver IAEA’s technical assistance immediately for the safety and security of the country’s nuclear plants.
He held “detailed discussions” with Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko, head of the nuclear regulatory body Oleg Korikov, head of operating company Energoatom Petro Kotin and the NPP Director Igor Polovych regarding the matter.
Wrapping up busy day of very intensive and productive meetings with senior Ukrainian government officials at South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant today. ⁰@IAEAorg expert teams and additional safety equipment will arrive very soon to #Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. pic.twitter.com/S2l8ogcNAe
— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) March 30, 2022
Mr Grossi said: “It is vital to be on the ground in order to provide effective support to Ukraine in these extremely difficult times.
“The IAEA’s onsite presence, where needed, will help prevent the danger of a nuclear accident that could have severe public health and environmental consequences in Ukraine and beyond.”
He reassured the team that the IAEA is ready to support “in whatever way and form we can”, insisting “nothing that happens here will go unnoticed”.
He also thanked staff at the South Ukraine NPP for their “endurance and resilience during these extremely difficult times.
IAEA Director General @RafaelMGrossi was at South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant today to begin delivery of urgent assistance to #Ukraine and ensure the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities. Watch what he told NPP staff. pic.twitter.com/M79r2CAeko
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 30, 2022
The Director General added: “You are protecting the essential infrastructure of your country at a time of great difficulty.
“The supply chain is not working as it should be. We are going to start working on methods to re-establish that. We are going to be working on some concrete actions in the area of safety and security, radiation monitoring. And we are going to try, in our conversations, to establish a rapid reaction mechanism.
“As far as we are concerned from the IAEA, for us, we treat this as a major crisis. This is not business as usual. And we will continue discussing this issue until there is a solution. We are not going to let go.”
Equipment, including for emergency and monitoring radiation, is expected to be delivered to Ukraine, in addition to the IAEA sending experts to the country’s nuclear facilities.