Ukraine told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Sunday that it had completed the first staff rotation at Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant within three weeks. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi added that the agency would soon send a mission to help with normalization.
The Russian forces captured the power station north of Kyiv shortly after they invaded Ukraine on February 24th. However, Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, stated in April that they had fled the plant and were headed towards the border with Belarus.
Sunday’s IAEA report stated that Ukraine provided more information to the agency about the damage to the site’s radiation monitoring analytical laboratories. It said the premises had been “destroyed” and that the analytical instruments were stolen, broken, or disabled.
The Ukrainians reported that a related information and communication centre was also damaged and that the automated transmission of radiation monitoring data was disabled.
“While it is encouraging that the Ukrainian authorities are slowly restoring regulatory control over the Chornobyl site,” Gossi stated in the statement.
“As soon as possible, I will lead an IAEA mission in Chornobyl to perform a radiological evaluation there, resume remote safeguards monitoring the facility and its nuclear material, and deliver equipment.”
Gossi stated that he was in close contact with Ukraine to arrange a visit. This was expected to happen “soon”.