IAEA Director General offers to Guard Nuclear Reactors in Ukraine

Flaring munition landing on the grounds of the nuclear plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine

The world’s top nuclear overseer today offered to travel to war-torn Ukraine to ensure more than a dozen reactors there aren’t targeted as part of Russia’s continued invasion, a bold move that he acknowledged would be difficult but not impossible.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said he’s ready to make the trip — and suggested the crippled Chernobyl nuclear plant as a meeting site — after Russian troops attacked and then occupied Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine last night.

“If we are to extend assistance, we have to be there, and the first to be there must be the head of the IAEA,” Grossi told reporters this morning. “I am ready to come.”…

Such a meeting, he said, would allow IAEA “to not simply tweet” but take action in the face of an unprecedented situation unfolding in Ukraine, which he called “fragile” and “unstable.”

Brave dude. Offering his person to do what few bureaucrats would do in any land. Stand as hostage against war and destruction. Simply as part of his requirement to serve and protect anyone who may be affected by a nuclear disaster at any of these power plants in Ukraine.

20 thoughts on “IAEA Director General offers to Guard Nuclear Reactors in Ukraine

  1. p/s says:

    Ukraine crisis: 3rd nuclear site targeted https://www.eenews.net/articles/ukraine-crisis-3rd-nuclear-site-targeted-manchin-talks/
    Experts say Russia’s likely overall goal is to control Ukraine’s critical infrastructure — including reactors that supply more than 50 percent of the nation’s power — and that nuclear overseers’ hands are tied.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “has no real authority to deal with this situation,” according to Ed Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
    Meanwhile: The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) said yesterday that the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology that houses a “research nuclear installation” was attacked and damaged. https://snriu.gov.ua/en/news/shelter-nsa-neutron-source

  2. Update says:

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday that it has lost contact with remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine, which was taken over by Russian forces last month.
    “The Agency is looking into the status of safeguards monitoring systems in other locations in Ukraine and will provide further information soon,” the IAEA said in a statement. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-15-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine

  3. Update says:

    “The Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) has been completely disconnected from the power grid due to the actions of the Russian invaders, the system operator NPC Ukrenergo has said.
    “There are about 20,000 spent fuel assemblies in Spent Fuel Storage Facility 1. They need constant cooling, which is possible only if there is electricity. If it is not available, the pumps will not produce cooling. As a result, the temperature in the spent fuel radioactive substances into the environment. By wind, a radioactive cloud can be transferred to other regions of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Europe,” the company said.
    Energoatom also said that due to a blackout, ventilation at the facility will not work, and all personnel located there will receive a dangerous dose of radiation.
    “The fire extinguishing system also does not work. This is a huge risk in the event of a fire that can occur as a result of a shell hit. Currently, hostilities continue, which makes it impossible to carry out repairs and resume power supply,” Energoatom said. https://ua.interfax.com.ua/news/general/810021.html
    “Ukraine authorizes Chernobyl spent fuel storage” (Wed, Apr 28, 2021) https://www.ans.org/news/article-2847/on-35th-anniversary-of-the-chernobyl-accident-ukraine-authorizes-spent-fuel-storage/

  4. Doomscroller says:

    A senior Ukrainian official accused Russia on Sunday of “irresponsible” acts around the occupied Chernobyl power station that could send radiation across much of Europe, and urged the United Nations to dispatch a mission to assess the risks.
    Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Russian forces were “militarising” the exclusion zone around the station, site of the world’s worst civil nuclear accident in 1986.
    Russian forces, she said, were transporting large amounts of old and badly maintained weapons, creating a risk of damaging the containment vessel constructed around the station’s wrecked fourth reactor.
    And Russian forces were preventing firefighters from bringing under control large numbers of fires in the zone.
    “In the context of nuclear safety, the irresponsible and unprofessional actions of Russian servicemen present a very serious threat not only to Ukraine but to hundreds of millions of Europeans,” Vereshchuk said on her Telegram account. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-says-russian-forces-near-chernobyl-could-pose-new-radiation-threat-2022-03-27/
    Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, demands that the UN Security Council take immediate measures to demilitarize the exclusion zone of the Chornobyl NPP and establish a special UN mission to eliminate the risk of a nuclear disaster. https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3441662-vereshchuk-demands-that-un-security-council-take-immediate-measures-to-demilitarize-chornobyl-npp.html

  5. Update says:

    Russian soldiers who seized the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster drove their armored vehicles without radiation protection through a highly toxic zone called the “Red Forest”, kicking up clouds of radioactive dust, workers at the site said. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/unprotected-russian-soldiers-disturbed-radioactive-dust-chernobyls-red-forest-2022-03-28/
    The site got its name when dozens of square kilometers of pine trees turned red after absorbing radiation from the 1986 explosion, one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.
    A vast area around Chernobyl is off limits to anyone who does not work there or have special permission, but the Red Forest is considered so highly contaminated that even the nuclear plant workers are not allowed to go there.
    …One of the employees said he had spoken to some of the rank-and-file Russian soldiers at the plant.
    “When they were asked if they knew about the 1986 catastrophe, the explosion of the fourth block (of the Chernobyl plant), they did not have a clue. They had no idea what kind of a facility they were at,” he said.

  6. Reddy Kilowatt says:

    Ukraine will now be able sell its electricity on the European market.
    Finance Minister of Ukraine Serhii Marchenko said this in a Facebook post, Ukrinform reports.
    “Ukraine has recently joined the European grid by becoming a member of ENTSO-E. Thus, the electricity produced in Ukraine can be sold on the European market. I discussed this opportunity with all European colleagues. Deputy Prime Minister, Bulgaria’s Finance Minister Assen Vassilev has expressed readiness to put on the government’s agenda cobsideration of the issue of purchasing electricity produced by us,” he wrote. https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-economy/3466535-ukraine-to-be-able-to-sell-electricity-on-european-market-marchenko.html

    • Chutzpah says:

      “Ukraine did a year’s worth of work in 2 weeks to get on Europe’s energy grid in record time, but major challenges are ahead” (Fortune, April 2, 2022)
      It may have been done in two weeks, but synchronizing Ukraine’s electrical grid with Europe’s has been a mammoth task years in the making.
      The idea was first explored in 2017, when Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s main energy utility company, struck a deal with ENTSO-E to undergo the lengthy operational and regulatory processes necessary to integrate Ukraine’s grid with Europe’s.
      The project was slated to cost over €50 million, and its completion date was initially set for 2026. That timeline was later adjusted to early 2023.
      “It is impressive because typically those things take 10 years or more,” Georg Zachmann, an energy and climate policy researcher at the Brussels-based economic think tank Bruegel, told Fortune. “Doing it at that speed has never been done before.”

  7. Update says:

    A huge nuclear power plant occupied by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine is “completely out of control”, The head of the UN’s nuclear agency says.
    Rafael Grossi was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying the Zaporizhzhia plant needed an inspection and repairs.
    “You have a catalogue of things that should never be happening in any nuclear facility,” he said.
    Europe’s biggest nuclear plant is dangerously close to the fighting.
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia earlier this week of using the plant, which it overran in March, as a military base to launch attacks on Ukrainian forces. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62412429

    • Cassandra says:

      (BBC): Ukraine’s nuclear agency says Russian rockets have damaged part of a giant Russian-controlled nuclear power plant, but there has been no radiation leak.
      Enerhoatom said a nitrogen-oxygen unit and a high-voltage power line had been damaged at the Zaporizhzhia plant – Europe’s largest – in southern Ukraine.
      Local Russian-appointed officials blamed Ukraine for shelling earlier.
      Ukraine also accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing “terror tactics”. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62432873

    • Update says:

      Inside the Ukraine power plant raising the specter of nuclear disaster in Europe https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/13/europe/inside-ukraine-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-cmd-intl/index.html
      …”Regrettably, instead of de-escalation, over the past several days there have been reports of further deeply worrying incidents that could, if they continue, lead to disaster,” UN secretary general, António Guterres, said in a statement [link]. “I urge the withdrawal of any military personnel and equipment from the plant and the avoidance of any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site.”
      Addressing a meeting of the UN security council in New York on Thursday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said that recent attacks [link],had knocked out parts of the plant, risking an “unacceptable” potential radiation leak and called for a team of experts to urgently be allowed to access the site, where the situation “has been deteriorating very rapidly.”

  8. AZ-5 says:

    A team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Monday started its journey to the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant at the heart of fighting in Ukraine, a long-awaited mission to inspect crucial safety systems that the world hopes will help avoid a catastrophe. https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-united-nations-international-atomic-energy-agency-4945f31b924af958454aa4e3ee61e782
    International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi has for months sought access to the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s biggest, which has been occupied by Russian forces and run by Ukrainian workers since the early days of the six-month-old war.
    “China calls on Putin to end Russian roulette at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine after disaster near-miss” https://inews.co.uk/news/world/china-putin-russian-roulette-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-ukraine-disaster-near-miss-russia-1818988 “China’s warning is significant as it is perhaps the only world power with real influence over the Putin regime.”
    Remarks by Chinese Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation Related to Zaporizhzhia Power Plant (8/24/22) https://newsus.cgtn.com/news/2022-08-24/Remarks-by-Ambassador-Geng-Shuang-at-the-UN-Security-Council-Briefing–1cKpTXYNEdy/index.html

      • Matthew 5:9 says:

        Sep 1 2022 8:54 AM EDT: The International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission has arrived at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after a delay lasting several hours due to shelling around Enerhodar, where the plant is located.

        • Update says:

          (1:56 PM ET, Thu September 1, 2022): “Most of the international team of nuclear experts visiting the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Thursday have left, after overcoming initial challenges in reaching the facility, which included an hours-long delay, and a drive through an active war zone to reach the facility.
          The visit by the team of 14 experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including its chief Rafael Grossi, came at a crucial moment for the plant, which has endured constant shelling and raised fears of a nuclear accident.
          So far, five IAEA inspection team remain at the plant after Grossi’s departure, Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom said in a statement.
          It is expected that the remaining inspectors would stay at the plant until September 3, it added.
          A prolonged IAEA presence at the nuclear plant would likely help to stave off the possibility of a dangerous nuclear accident. Russia would welcome a permanent IAEA presence at the facility, its diplomat to the agency and other international organizations in Vienna said Wednesday.
          Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that he wants the IAEA to help strike a deal that would demilitarize Zaporizhzhia, rather than simply inspect the plant.” https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/01/europe/ukraine-zaporizhzhia-iaea-inspectors-intl/index.html

  9. Game-changer says:

    (Sep 3, 2022, 5:52pm EDT): “What can the IAEA do in Zaporizhzhia?
    The IAEA observed the damage at Europe’s largest power plant. Now what?” https://www.vox.com/2022/9/3/23335504/what-can-the-iaea-do-in-zaporizhzhia

    “Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant again lost connection to the last remaining main external power line, but continues to supply electricity to the grid through a reserve line, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday. The agency also said, in a statement posted on its website, that only one of the station’s six reactors remained in operation.” Update 97 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-97-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine

  10. Kolay Gelsin says:

    “Turkey offers to mediate in Ukraine nuclear plant standoff : Fighting around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine is stoking fears of an atomic disaster.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/3/turkey-offers-to-mediate-in-ukraine-nuclear-plant-standoff
    “Saturday’s offer came hours before the global atomic energy watchdog said Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant had been disconnected from its last remaining main power line to the grid and was now relying on a reserve line.
    Erdogan on Saturday told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that “Turkey can play a facilitator role in the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as they did in the grain deal”, the Turkish presidency said.”

  11. Update says:

    A vital offsite electricity supply to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been destroyed by shelling and there is little likelihood a reliable supply will be re-established according to Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
    The plant has been relying on its only remaining operating reactor for the power needed for cooling and other safety functions. This method is designed to provide power only for a few hours at a time. Diesel generators are used as a last resort. (The Guardian Fri 9 Sep 2022 14.08 EDT) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/09/offsite-power-supply-to-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-destroyed
    Nuclear power plants generate electricity by heating fluid via a nuclear reaction to run a generator. If the heat from that reaction is not removed adequately, the fuel assemblies in a reactor core will melt through their containment structures, releasing large amounts of deadly radioactive material.

  12. Doubling down says:

    Russian troops Monday launched strikes on Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear power plant that resulted in a power outage but left the reactors undamaged, according to Ukraine’s state nuclear company.
    A “powerful explosion” was heard near the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine just after midnight, Ukraine’s Energoatom wrote on Telegram.
    Artillery shells landed 300 meters from the reactors, the company said, resulting in a temporary power outage and sending a shockwave that smashed over 100 windows at the complex. No one at the site was hurt.
    Responding to the incident, Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko said: “Russia is desperate to put the world on the verge of nuclear disaster to achieve any progress in its energy blackmailing Europe.” https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraines-second-largest-nuclear-plant-hit-by-russian-attacks-kyiv-says/

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