The Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom has assured the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its complete cooperation in the task of ensuring the safe operation of Ukrainian nuclear facilities in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
This assurance on ensuring nuclear and physical security at the Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs) was conveyed by the Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev to the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi at their meeting held in Kaliningrad, Russia, on April 1, 2022, according to a Rosatom statement.
“The main task of Rosatom is to do everything necessary and assist the IAEA in the safe operation of Ukrainian nuclear facilities. It is important to do everything to ensure that the IAEA has full information about the ongoing events and, of course, to enable specialists and maintenance personnel of the stations to perform their duties in the most difficult conditions. We exchanged views and outlined further ways of cooperation and operational interactions”, Likhachev said following his meeting with the IAEA Director General.
“As a result of these talks, I want to emphasize the highest professionalism of the agency, its head and the entire delegation involved in this work, as well as a balanced and, most importantly, depoliticized approach to the events, and an exceptional concentration of attention and efforts on nuclear safety issues. Security, security and security – these were the three topics we focused on in our negotiations in recent hours”, the Rosatom head added.
The statement said that the IAEA Director General thanked Likhachev for the prompt cooperation and partnership in facing the challenges posed by the difficult circumstances, as well as for engaging in continuous consultation and exchange to ensure nuclear safety.
“There is one concept, which is very important, that, apart from our responsibilities, the Russian Federation on one hand, Ukraine on the other , and IAEA as the international global nuclear institution, we all have a common interest, a common responsibility in ensuring that the present difficult circumstance we are going through are in no way aggravated by the eventuality of a nuclear accident. This requires enormous zeal, professionalism and a clear professional focus at what is at stake. I can say that I have had a very understanding ear on Mr Likhachev’s presence here”, Grossi said.
“There are important missions that IAEA is going to be conducting in the next few days. Our intention is to continue to strengthen this cooperation, this joint work (with Russia) in order to ensure that we do not have any regrettable events related to the facilities in Ukraine, which are many and diverse in their configuration, in their importance, and in the amount of nuclear materials that we have there. So this requires a lot of work. I leave Kaliningrad with a sense of renewed commitment and dedication to continue working and I am sure we will continue to be in touch working together in the next few days”, Grossi added.
According to the statement, the IAEA head said that, by and large, the situation at the Ukrainian nuclear facilities was under control but there were things that needed to be improved and the work should continue.
In turn, the Rosatom chief reaffirmed the Russian commitment to key security principles and its readiness to provide comprehensive support to the IAEA. The parties also agreed to stay in constant contact, the statement added.
Grossi’s visit to Russia closely followed his trip to Ukraine where he met with Ukrainian nuclear industry officials and the regulator. On his return to the IAEA headquarters at Vienna from Kaliningrad, he said at a press conference that the IAEA had succeeded in reaching an agreement with the parties concerned to work on the safety and security of the Ukrainian NPPs.
“I do have an agreed framework. We have agreed separately with Russia and with Ukraine on what we are going to do. And this does not require us to agree on the wording of a separate document”, Grossi said.
The IAEA Director General also said that he has a detailed list of activities agreed upon to ensure the safety and security of the Ukrainian NPPs in the current situation.