IAEA chief visits Ukraine to discuss nuclear safety support

FILE – In this March 6, 2017 file photo, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan speaks in Vienna, Austria.

Vienna, March 30 (IANS) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi has arrived in Ukraine on Tuesday for talks with senior Ukrainian officials on delivering urgent technical assistance to ensure the security of the country’s nuclear facilities, the IAEA said.

The aim of Grossi’s visit is to “initiate prompt safety and security support to Ukraine’s nuclear facilities,” which will include sending IAEA experts to prioritized facilities and the shipment of vital safety and security supplies including monitoring and emergency equipment, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by the IAEA.

“The military conflict is putting Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and other facilities with radioactive material in unprecedented danger,” Grossi was quoted by the statement as saying.

“We must take urgent action to make sure that they can continue to operate safely and securely and reduce the risk of a nuclear accident that could have a severe health and environmental impact both in Ukraine and beyond,” Grossi added.

Grossi will travel to one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants during his visit this week, the IAEA said.

According to another IAEA statement released on Tuesday night, eight of Ukraine’s 15 functional reactors were continuing to operate, while the others were shut down for regular maintenan

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