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April 4, 2022

Ukraine plans to resume regulatory control at Chornobyl NPP

The country also intends to rotate staff members at the nuclear power facility.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the GlobalData Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Ukraine has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it is examining the possibility to resume regulatory control of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) after the withdrawal of the Russian military from the site.

The country also notified the regulator that it is planning to rotate staff members at the Chornobyl NPP, but has not specified a date for this.

Last week, Ukraine told the IAEA that Russian forces were leaving the Chornobyl NPP after having controlled the site for five weeks.

Senior Russian officials confirmed the withdrawal at a meeting with IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi in Kaliningrad, Russia, on 1 April.

Ukraine later told the IAEA that while all Russian forces had left the NPP site, the situation in the exclusion zone around the plant was unclear.

Many NPP staff live in the city of Slavutych outside the 30km exclusion zone, which was set up after the nuclear disaster that occurred when a reactor at the plant melted down in 1986.

Russian military personnel entered the Chornobyl NPP on 24 February. On 4 March, the armed forces took control of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, one of four operating nuclear power plants in the country.

Grossi intends to lead an IAEA assistance and support mission to Chornobyl as soon as possible.

An IAEA team will provide both on-site and off-site technical assessment and advice, as well as offer safety equipment where needed.

At present, Ukraine has 15 operational nuclear energy reactors across five sites, including the Chornobyl NPP.

Seven of these reactors are currently operating, while the others are closed for regular maintenance works.

Regarding safeguards, the IAEA said that the situation had not changed from previous reports.

The regulator added that it is still not receiving remote data transmissions from monitoring systems at the Chornobyl NPP, but that this data is being sent to the IAEA headquarters from other NPPs in Ukraine.

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