After arriving at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi said this was “not only a symbolic visit,” and noted that “there is a lot of work to be done after the occupation of this plant.”
The team arrived at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant today (26 April) to deliver equipment, conduct radiological assessments and restore safeguards monitoring systems.
Grossi said, “we have to do some repair work, so we can restore the connectivity that we have with Vienna so we can provide good information to the Ukrainian people and to the rest of the world.”
He said “we have lots of equipment, dosimeters, radiation monitoring equipment, and other things that we are bringing here. The assistance is going to continue. This is just the first batch of equipment we are bringing. We are coordinating of course with the Ukrainian authorities.”
The visit marks the 36th anniversary of the nuclear accident that took place on 26 April 1986 at one of the nuclear power plant’s reactors.
Grossi said, “on that occasion. You had an explosion you had an operating reactor; the situation was completely different. In this case, what we had was a nuclear safety situation that was not normal, that could have developed into an accident. I think the first credit must go to the operators, to these people here, because they carried on their work, in spite of all the difficulties, in spite of the stress, in spite of the fact that they could not be working normally.”
The Director General said, “the main plan today is delivery equipment. I'm here with some colleagues, nuclear safety experts from the IAEA who have been working with the Ukrainian safety experts. We are going to compare our figures; we are going to be doing some monitoring in the area. Not only here but in the exclusion zone as well.”
He said, “we are going to be planning for a presence of the IAEA here for as long as the situation requires. So, we have a heavy agenda.”
>Grossi noted that “the physical integrity of one nuclear power plants, Zaporizhia, was compromised. We had also situations where the external power was interrupted, including here. So, there were a number of events that were compromising the normal operation of any nuclear facility.”
The Director General is in Ukraine to lead the IAEA’s first full-fledged assistance mission of safety, security and safeguards experts to the country.