Ukraine Defends the Report on the Convention on Nuclear Safety at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna

The Head of the Ukrainian delegation, Oleg Korikov, was confronted by the russian delegation at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna when he presented his report at the Joint Eighth and Ninth Review Meeting under the Convention on Nuclear Safety. Furthermore, the russians officially confirmed that their army is present at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, utilizing the plant’s heating capacities for the russian army’s staff.

The Joint Eighth and Ninth Review Meeting under the Convention on Nuclear Safety is currently taking place at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna (Austria), where yesterday, on 22 March, the Ukrainian delegation presented the National Report on Compliance of Ukraine with Obligations under the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The Ukrainian delegation was led by Oleg Korikov, acting Head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, Chief State Inspector for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Ukraine. He presented a report that summarized the measures taken to ensure the safety of nuclear installations for the six-year period that passed since the Seventh Review Meeting under the Convention.

In his report, Oleg Korikov focused on the situation that was caused by the russian military aggression and attacks against Ukraine. He emphasized that, throughout the years since the ratification of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, Ukraine had consistently demonstrated its commitment to achieving a high level of nuclear safety, ensuring effective protection of people, society and the environment against the effects of ionizing radiation, as well as preventing accidents with radiological consequences. However, with the full-scale invasion by russia’s armed forces, the insidious enemy is not only waging an aggressive war against the Ukrainian people but is also seizing things that do not belong and had never belonged to it. Before the full-scale invasion, Ukraine fully complied with the provisions of Article 9 “Responsibility of the License Holder” and Article 10 “Priority to Safety”, which is no longer the case. The temporary occupation of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and other nuclear facilities on the site caused the situation in which Ukraine is unable to fully fulfill its obligations in compliance with requirements of the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

A representative of the russian delegation confirmed that the russian military was indeed present on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and specifically used the plant’s capacities for military purposes.

Ukraine acknowledges the physical, moral and material burden placed on IAEA member states in connection with the need for permanent presence at the NPP site. However, it is crucial to emphasize that there would be no need for a permanent mission if russia had not engaged in acts of nuclear terrorism.

If russian troops had not threatened Ukraine’s nuclear energy and the entire world, then there would be no need for permanent missions. Moreover, it was Ukraine that made every possible effort to enable IAEA representatives to personally verify that all the shelling against NPPs was done by the occupiers. This was confirmed in the second IAEA Report for the period from 28 April to 5 September 2022 “NUCLEAR SAFETY, SECURITY AND SAFEGUARDS IN UKRAINE” and by results of the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

It is essential for the global nuclear community to recognize that representatives of a terrorist country must not be allowed to participate in civilized organizations that value honesty and dignity and prioritize safety and human life above all else.

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