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Ukraine has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that all its nuclear power plants are still under the control of the national nuclear plant operator, Energoatom, and has no reports of any new threats to these plants.
Energoatom has asked the IAEA to intervene to ensure the safety of 15 atomic reactors as Russia continues its invasion.
In a telephone call with IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi earlier this week, Energoatom head Petro Kotin called on the IAEA to create ‘safe zones’, each with a radius of 30km, around the nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
Ukraine is Europe’s second largest nuclear power producer after France, with nuclear power meeting around 50% of the country’s power requirements.
Energoatom has continued to operate its four facilities, which feature a total of 15 reactors, even as Russia’s military has advanced.
In a statement, the company said that Russian military equipment, artillery and rocket launchers are regularly being fired in close proximity to the plants.
Bloomberg reported that the IAEA plans to hold an emergency session on 2 March in Vienna to review the situation.
Grossi said that any military or other actions that pose a threat to the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants must be avoided.
Grossi said: “I remain gravely concerned about the situation in Ukraine, especially regarding the safety and security of its nuclear power plants.
“I renew my strong appeal to avoid any potential danger or threat to these facilities as any accident could have very severe consequences.”
In a separate development, work on the Paks Two nuclear power plant project in Hungary is proceeding on schedule by the local unit of Russian state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom, according to HungaryToday.
Russia is financing 80% of the Paks Two project, which will meet around 50% of Hungary’s domestic electricity requirements once operational.