6 Jun 2022 14:32

IAEA ends second mission to Chernobyl NPP

MOSCOW. June 6 (Interfax) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has completed a second mission to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the exclusion zone, having carried out nuclear safety, security and safeguards activities there, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

"This week's combined IAEA safety, security and safeguards mission succeeded in achieving all its objectives, despite the significant logistical challenges in travelling and working in Ukraine," the IAEA quoted Grossi as saying in its update on Ukraine on Friday.

According to Ukrainian mass media, Grossi said more missions would be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks and months.

For instance, Grossi is still planning a visit to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and is continuing to organize the respective mission "to carry out important nuclear safety, security and safeguards activities at this site."

The IAEA said that the transmission of remote safeguards data to IAEA headquarters from the Zaporizhzhya NPP stopped on 30 May.

"With the assistance of the operator, the IAEA is continuing technical attempts to re-establish the data transmission. The IAEA continues to receive safeguards data from its systems installed at the other three operational NPPs in Ukraine," the IAEA update said.

Advisor to the Ukrainian prime minister Yuryi Boyko told Ukrainian journalists, for his part, that, in his opinion, "Such a visit would be impossible at this stage."

As for the IAEA mission composed of seven members, who visited the Chernobyl NPP on May 31 - June 3, Grossi said they had visited the main facilities for the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel to discuss and assess their status with staff there and to identify areas for future support, provided training on the radiation monitoring equipment delivered by the IAEA in April, and verified the radiation protection program in all facilities at the Chornobyl NPP and the Exclusion Zone and identified actions for further enhancements

They observed the physical protection arrangements at nuclear, spent fuel, waste and radioactive material facilities located in the same area and identified potential areas of cooperation, discussed the re-establishment of the automated radiation monitoring system and received information on the forthcoming connection of this system with the IAEA International Radiation Monitoring Information System (IRMIS), and provided support on emergency preparedness and response and discussed the additional assistance that could be provided through the IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET) mechanism.

Additionally, the mission verified declared nuclear material and activities at facilities selected by the IAEA and checked the functioning of the remote safeguards data transmission from the Chornobyl NPP to IAEA headquarters, which was re-established at the end of April after two months of interruption.

Ukraine is continuing to operate eight out of 15 nuclear reactors, including two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at the Rivne NPP, two at the South Ukraine NPP, and one at the Khmelnytskyy NPP. The seven other reactors are shut down for regular maintenance or held in reserve, the update said.

As reported earlier, the IAEA has accomplished three missions to Ukrainian nuclear power plants since February 24, including to a trip to the South Ukraine NPP in March and trips to the Chernobyl NPP in April and in May-June.