IAEA receives required equipment list from Ukraine

26 April 2022

Ukraine has provided the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with a comprehensive list of equipment which it says it needs for the safe and secure operation of its nuclear facilities during the current conflict, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

The detailed equipment requirements submitted through the IAEA’s Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies (USIE) – a secure web site for the exchange of notifications and other emergency-related information between countries – will enable the Agency to effectively coordinate and implement the delivery of support to Ukraine, Grossi added. Many IAEA member states have expressed readiness to offer assistance.

Ukraine’s request addressed to the IAEA and 31 of its member states will be coordinated through the overall mechanism of the Agency’s Response and Assistance Network (RANET), where countries can register their capabilities for support in areas ranging from radiation dose assessments and decontamination to nuclear installation assessment and advice, radioactive source search and recovery and much else.

The IAEA delivered initial equipment to Ukraine when the Director General was at the South Ukraine NPP in March and more will be handed over when he travels to the Chernobyl NPP shortly, for example radiation monitoring equipment as well as personal protective equipment.

The new Ukraine request covers a range of equipment for different nuclear facilities, and includes various radiation measurement devices, protective material, computer-related assistance, power supply systems and diesel generators. “The IAEA has the technical expertise that is needed to support Ukraine in keeping its nuclear sites safe and secure. We will coordinate the implementation of the assistance that the IAEA and its member states will provide, including by delivering required equipment directly to Ukraine’s nuclear sites. The needs are great and I’m very grateful for the considerable support that our member states have already indicated they will make available for Ukraine,” Grossi said

Ukraine has separately informed the IAEA that a staff rotation took place on 19 April at the Chernobyl NPP, the third such reported change of personnel on duty since the conflict began on 24 February. Russian forces held the site for five weeks before they withdrew on 31 March. Ukraine told the IAEA that staff rotation was now taking place regularly and according to plan.

Regarding the country’s 15 operational reactors at four nuclear power plants, Ukraine said seven are currently connected to the grid, including two at the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye NPP, two at the Rovno NPP, two at the South Ukraine NPP, and one at the Khmelnytsky NPP. The eight other reactors are shut down for regular maintenance or held in reserve. Safety systems remain operational at the four NPPs and they also continue to have off-site power available, Ukraine said.

In relation to safeguards, the IAEA said it was still not receiving remote data transmission from its monitoring systems installed at the Chernobyl NPP, but such data was being transferred to IAEA headquarters from the other NPPs in Ukraine.

Grossi, will head an expert mission to the Chernobyl NPP to step up efforts to help prevent the danger of a nuclear accident during the current conflict. The team of IAEA nuclear safety, security and safeguards staff will be in Chernobyl from 26 April to deliver vital equipment and conduct radiological and other assessments at the site.

“The IAEA’s presence at Chernobyl will be of paramount importance for our activities to support Ukraine as it seeks to restore regulatory control of the plant and ensure its safe and secure operation,” Grossi said. “It will be followed by more IAEA missions to this and other nuclear facilities in Ukraine in the coming weeks.” IAEA safeguards experts will repair remote safeguard monitoring systems, which stopped transmitting data to the Agency’s headquarters in Vienna at the start of the conflict. Over the past several decades, the IAEA has provided support for the decommissioning and radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management at Chernobyl. “The IAEA knows the Chernobyl NPP very well. This local knowledge – coupled with our nuclear safety, security and safeguards expertise – means that we can quickly establish exactly what needs to be done, and how and where,” Grossi said.

Following the trip to Chernobyl, he will visit Moscow, where he will have a working meeting and lunch with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and will be received by President Vladimir Putin. Grossi is expected to hold a press conference upon his return to Vienna later in April.

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