This week marks a year-long war in Ukraine, with still no sign that the conflict with Russia is about to end. Since the beginning of the attacks in February 2022, actions involving nuclear power plants or areas close to them have further increased the concern that there may be an accident, and this has caused the international scientific community to mobilize for the safety of these places. Three such facilities are currently operating in the country.
Recently, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a report covering last year’s events, that the agency will do everything possible to ensure nuclear safety.
Report “Nuclear Safety, Security and Precautions in UkraineOver 50 pages” details events since the start of the Russian military campaign, focusing on the country’s impact on the nuclear power sector and the IAEA’s efforts to minimize the risks of damaging nuclear facilities. conflict. .
On March 4, 2022, Russian forces bombed the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, causing damage to a substation and fire before taking over a training building.
Over the next six months, there were many incidents where a nuclear accident could have occurred just one missile away, as fighting raged around the plant.
The most serious moments of danger came when the factory lost its external power due to bombing and had to rely on diesel generators for cooling.
In his report, Grossi expressed “serious concern” about the danger to Zaporizhia and assessed that all seven pillars of nuclear safety were compromised.
The greatest danger is in the past—perhaps only temporarily. The Zaporizhzhia NPP was brought into what they call a cold shutdown in September 2022 and has remained that way ever since – thanks in part to lower-than-expected electricity demand due to Europe’s extraordinarily warm winter.
Regarding nuclear facilities, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it closely monitors developments in the war in the country and provides regular updates on the situation.
- Inside February 24, 2022Ukraine has informed the IAEA that Russian forces have taken control of all facilities at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Control of the site was returned to Ukraine on March 31;
- Inside March 4, 2022The Zaporizhzhia plant became the first operational civilian nuclear power plant to come under an armed attack. The clash between the forces, which took place overnight, resulted in a bullet hitting a training building within the six-unit factory site. Russian forces took control of the site;
- Since that time end of octoberRussia has repeatedly targeted Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, including the country’s energy system, with missile attacks;
Rafael Grossi, Director-General of the IAEA, stressed the great importance of the continued presence of the IAEA Support and Assistance Mission in Zaporizhzhia.
“The nuclear safety and security situation in Ukraine – particularly at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant – remains dangerous and unpredictable. ISAMZ plays a key role in helping to protect this massive six-reactor nuclear facility during war. Their presence contributes to the maintenance of nuclear safety and is in everyone’s interest. The agency is doing everything possible to safely return our staff as soon as possible. Their safety and security is my priority,” said Grossi.
Missile attacks in Ukraine on Saturday (18) resulted in reduced power at all three operating nuclear power plants. On Sunday (19), energy production levels were restored.
In the face of ongoing nuclear safety and security risks, Grossi said that although negotiations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation have progressed more slowly than expected, he is determined to maintain agreements and to implement a nuclear safety and security zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible.
According to the IAEA, its teams continue to review the nuclear safety and security situation at all sites in accordance with the IAEA’s Seven Essential Pillars to ensure nuclear safety and security during an armed conflict and to support the determination of further assistance to nuclear facilities.
The agency also says it continues to organize and coordinate equipment deliveries to help Ukraine ensure nuclear safety.
Source: Tec Mundo
I’m Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I’ve written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.