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NUCLEAR SAFETY AND SECURITY IN UKRAINE

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IAEA - MAR 23 2022 - Statement by the IAEA Director General on Nuclear Safety and Security in Ukraine

For the past few weeks, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been actively working to ensure the safety and security of all nuclear installations in Ukraine during these dramatic and unique circumstances where major nuclear facilities are operating in an armed conflict zone. I remain gravely concerned about the safety and security of the nuclear facilities in Ukraine. We have been and will remain in close and continuing contact with the Ukrainian Government, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, and the nuclear operator Energoatom. We have also been publishing daily updates with validated technical information about the situation on the ground to keep the global community informed, and we will continue to do so.

As I have stated many times, there is an urgent need to conclude an agreed framework to preserve nuclear safety and security in Ukraine by establishing a clear commitment to observe and respect the seven indispensable pillars for ensuring nuclear safety and security. I have personally expressed my readiness to immediately come to Ukraine to conclude such an agreement, which would include substantial assistance and support measures, including on-site presence of IAEA experts at different facilities in Ukraine, as well as the delivery of vital safety equipment. This agreed framework will also help create the conditions for the IAEA to carry out safeguards verification activities.

Intensive consultations have been ongoing for many days now, but a positive outcome still eludes us. Despite this, the distressing situation continues and the need to prevent a nuclear accident becomes more pressing with each day that passes. I want to thank the United Nations Secretariat and the many Governments that from the highest levels have expressed support for my initiative and the efforts of the IAEA. I reiterate today that the IAEA is ready and able to deploy immediately and provide indispensable assistance for ensuring nuclear safety and security in Ukraine. This assistance is essential to help avert the real risk of a severe nuclear accident that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond. I hope to be able to conclude this agreed framework without further delay. We cannot afford to lose any more time. We need to act now.

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