IAEA Director visits Chernobyl

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi will lead an expert delegation to Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

IAEA director visits Chernobyl

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi presenting on the Chernobyl reactor – Photo: The Times of Israel

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi will lead an expert delegation to Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant today.

Russian forces captured the plant on the first day of the invasion—located less than 10 miles from Ukraine’s border with Belarus and where Russian troops amassed ahead of the attack. On March 31, they withdrew with 150 Ukrainian prisoners of war after forcing the plant’s managers to sign documents affirming that Russian troops protected the site.

Grossi’s visit—which notably comes on the 36th anniversary of the 1986 disaster—is intended to provide assurances that fighting in and around the Chernobyl complex does not merit nuclear safety concerns. The visit will accomplish that to an extent, but with 14 other reactors spread across Ukraine, the danger of nuclear catastrophe remains high. Seven reactors are located in the southeastern oblast of Zaporizhzhia, which borders Donetsk and may be Moscow’s next regional target.

Only a ceasefire could fully assure nuclear safety in wartime Ukraine. Yet, with no end to the conflict in sight expect international calls for Russia to allow neutral inspectors, such as IAEA staff, to access Ukrainian nuclear facilities and assure their continued functionality.

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