As a result of the large-scale aggression of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, unprecedented forced military seizures and destruction of critical infrastructure of Ukraine, and, what is worst of all, Ukrainian nuclear energy facilities are taking place.
In addition to military and civilian, as well as humanitarian consequences, such actions of the aggressor put Ukraine, Europe and the entire world in a danger of large-scale nuclear catastrophe.
In 2009, in its Resolution, the IAEA General Conference took a decision that “any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and the Statute of the Agency”.
Ignoring the internationally recognized security principles and requirements, as well as the international obligations of the Russian Federation itself, as a member of the United Nations and the IAEA, the Russian military forces committed cynical and brutal invasions and further seizures of:
- the Exclusion Zone territory and the Chornobyl NPP industrial site on 24th February 2022;
- Enerhodar city on 3 March 2022, and Zaporizhzhya NPP industrial site where seven nuclear installations are located, on the night of 4 March 2022.
In the following days during artillery shelling of Kharkiv:
- the building of the regional Oncology Center, on the territory of which high-level radiation sources are present, was destroyed;
- the nuclear research facility “Neutron Source”, which is loaded with 37 nuclear fuel elements, got under artillery fire.
It is cynical that the defiant attack on the Zaporizhzhya NPP took place on 3 March 2022, immediately after the Emergency Meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, which strongly condemned the Russian military invasion in Ukraine, stressed the inadmissibility of seizure and destruction of nuclear power facilities.
Military seizure of nuclear installations, as well as military actions against other nuclear facilities and facilities using radiation sources on the Ukrainian territory, create risks unprecedented in their scale:
- with respect to the nuclear and radiation safety;
- with respect to the security of nuclear installations, nuclear materials, radioactive waste and other radiation sources.
The enemy is turning the NPP territory into a military facility, deploying heavy weapons in this territory to blackmail the entire world.
Such actions of the enemy must be treated as nuclear terrorism acts.
I have to state that so far, despite the active initiatives of the Ukrainian party, unfortunately, no diplomatic efforts of the IAEA and other international partners have led to real results in reducing or eliminating military risks at Ukraine's nuclear facilities.
It is no exaggeration to note that today in Ukraine, due to the military aggression of the Russian Federation, the risks not only of radiation accidents of various scales, loss of control over radiation sources, but also unprecedented risks of global nuclear catastrophe have been created.
Acting Chairman - Chief State Inspector for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Ukraine Oleh Korikov