‘Grave concern’ over Ukraine crisis

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi has issued another statement regarding the ongoing situation in the Ukraine.

The sound of gunfire echoed through Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, today as Russian tanks were filmed entering the city for the first time.

Russian forces on Thursday launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, crossing its borders and bombing targets near big cities.

In a pre-dawn TV statement Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine and demanded that its military lay down their arms.

Grossi’s statement follows.

Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the country’s nuclear power reactors are continuing to operate safely and securely, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said, reiterating his appeal for maximum restraint to avoid any action that could jeopardise plant safety.

Ukraine told the IAEA on Thursday that “unidentified armed forces” had taken control of the facilities of the State Specialised Enterprise Chornobyl NPP (Nuclear Power Plant), located within the Exclusion Zone. Grossi said it was of vital importance that the safe and secure operations of the zone’s nuclear facilities should not be affected or disrupted in any way.

Regarding reports earlier today of higher radiation measurements at the Chornobyl site, Ukraine’s regulatory authority said that they may have been caused by heavy military vehicles stirring up soil still contaminated from the 1986 accident.

The IAEA assesses that the readings reported by the regulator – of up to 9 46 microSieverts per hour – are low and remain within the operational range measured in the Exclusion Zone since it was established, and therefore do not pose any danger to the public.

The IAEA continues to closely monitor this and other developments in Ukraine, with a special focus on the safety and security of its nuclear reactors. The IAEA is in constant contact with its counterpart, which regularly provides the Agency with updated information, Grossi said, adding that he remained gravely concerned about the overall situation in Ukraine.

The IAEA will continue to provide regular updates on the situation. (PR)

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