31 May 2023
by Sarah Morgan

IAEA announces principles for safety and security at Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant in Ukraine

In a statement to United Nations Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General lays out principles to ensure safety and security at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear site in Ukraine.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi together with his senior staff, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Zaporizhzhya City on 27 March 2023, as he led the IAEA expert mission team during his second official visit to Ukraine © Fredrik Dahl / IAEA. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The plant is currently under Russian military and operational control.

Director General Rafael Grossi has been urging all parties to protect the nuclear safety and security of the plant.

This has involved numerous meetings, intensive consultations and exchanges, including at the highest levels in Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

As a result of these consultations, the following concrete principles have been established to prevent a nuclear accident and ensure the integrity of the plant:

  1. There should be no attack of any kind from or against the plant, in particular targeting the reactors, spent fuel storage, other critical infrastructure, or personnel.
  2. The plant should not be used as storage or a base for heavy weapons (i.e. multiple rocket launchers, artillery systems and munitions, and tanks), or military personnel that could be used for an attack from the plant.
  3. Off-site power to the plant should not be put at risk. To that effect, all efforts should be made to ensure that off-site power remains available and secure at all times.
  4. All structures, systems and components essential to the safe and secure operation of the plant should be protected from attacks or acts of sabotage.
  5. No action should be taken that undermines these principles.

These are seen as essential to prevent the occurrence of a catastrophic incident.

The IAEA has been closely monitoring the situation and assisting Ukraine every single day since the start of the war, reads the statement. This assistance has involved the continuous engagement of the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre.

IAEA experts are stationed at every other major Ukrainian nuclear site: Rivne NPP, South Ukraine NPP, Khmelnytskyy NPP, and to the Chornobyl NPP.

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