The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will dispatch permanent technical missions to all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants (NPPs) in an effort to prevent a nuclear accident in the midst of Russia’s ongoing war against Kiev.
Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal have agreed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will establish a continuous presence of nuclear safety and security experts at all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants as part of increased efforts to prevent a nuclear accident during the ongoing armed conflict.
During a two-hour meeting in Paris that ended early on Tuesday morning, Director General Grossi said he and Prime Minister Shmyhal also made progress in ongoing discussions about setting up a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), where the IAEA deployed a permanent expert mission more than three months ago. Ukraine’s Energy Minister, Herman Haluschenko, also participated in the meeting.
“While we are not yet there and more work is required, I’m increasingly optimistic that such a zone – which is of paramount importance – will be agreed and implemented in the near future,” Director General Grossi said after the talks. “I will continue my high-level consultations in the coming days – both with Ukraine and Russia – with the clear aim to get this done as soon as possible. We can’t afford to lose more time.”
The IAEA Director General was in Paris to attend an international conference on Ukraine – “Solidaires du peuple ukrainien” – hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been actively supporting Director General Grossi’s efforts in Ukraine.
At the request of Ukraine, the IAEA has over the past month dispatched week-long nuclear safety and security missions to the three other operational nuclear power plants in Ukraine – Khmelnytskyy, Rivne and South Ukraine – as well as to Chornobyl, site of the 1986 nuclear accident.
As agreed by Director General Grossi and Prime Minister Shmyhal during their meeting in Paris, the IAEA will press ahead with plans to establish a continued Agency presence at the four sites.