IAEA to station permanent missions at Ukrainian nuke plants
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is finalising the stationing of permanent missions at Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs), officials said here.
While speaking at a joint briefing with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the mission at Khmelnytsky NPP in western Ukraine is to start working in the coming days, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Today, I heard from Director General Rafael Grossi assurances of full support from the IAEA for our efforts to ensure nuclear safety, including at the Zaporizhzhia NPP," Shmyhal said.
"We are working on the issue of organising a safety zone around the Zaporizhzhia NPP, and we are making progress on this matter," he was quoted as saying.
According to an IAEA statement, the experts will monitor key nuclear safety and security systems, provide technical assistance, assess the plants' needs and report to the IAEA headquarters.
"With IAEA teams permanently present at all of Ukraine's NPPs and the Chernobyl site, the Agency will have around 11-12 staff simultaneously on the ground in the country, an unprecedented undertaking by the organization," the international nuclear watchdog said in the statement.
On January 16, the IAEA established its mission at the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
There are five nuclear power plants in Ukraine, four of which are functioning.
The Chernobylplant, which witnessed a nuclear disaster on April 26, 1988, was completely shut down on December 15, 2000.
In August 2022, the IAEA sent its monitoring mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which Russian forces have controlled since March. (SJ/IANS)