IAEA head encourages Russia's acts of nuclear terrorism in Ukraine, is inactive in relation to protection of its NPP – SNRIU

 The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) has accused the International Nuclear Safety Agency (IAEA) and its Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of encouraging acts of nuclear terrorism by Russia in Ukraine, as well as contributing to the strengthening of threats to the nuclear security of the world.

"We call on Mr. Grossi to assist Ukraine in our demands for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, military equipment and Rosatom personnel from Zaporizhia NPP site and the city of Enerhodar, which would be the greatest guarantee of the safety of its functioning, as well as the demand to stop shelling Ukraine with winged and operational tactical missiles, since they could potentially lead to a planetary catastrophe, greater in their consequences than Chornobyl and Fukushima accidents combined," according to the open appeal to the IAEA signed by SNRIU Head Oleh Korikov, posted on the inspectorate's Facebook page on May 27.

The inspection called acts of nuclear terrorism, in particular, the seizure of Zaporizhia NPP by Russian troops on the night of March 3 and 4, during which they killed three Ukrainian defenders and created unprecedented threats to the nuclear safety of the station, as well as the direction of missiles to nuclear power plants.

According to SNRIU, cases of overflights of cruise missiles similar to the Kalibr missiles were, in particular, recorded on April 16 over Pivdennoukrainsk NPP, on April 25 over Khmelnytsk NPP and on April 28 over Zaporizhia NPP.

They also said that after the seizure of Pivdennoukrainsk NPP, the Russian occupiers, whom the SNRIU called both the military and representatives of the Russian state companies Rosatom and Rosenergoatom, constantly terrorize and directly threaten the lives of the plant personnel and residents of the occupied Enerhodar.

"These acts of nuclear terrorism on the part of Russia are taking place in the absence of a clear position and effective response on the part of the IAEA to Ukraine's numerous appeals on this matter, which is why Russian representatives are convinced of their impunity and resort to even more daring actions and statements," Korikov said.

As an example, he cited statements by Enerhodar's collaborating authorities with reference to the IAEA that the agency had not recorded violations of the safe operation of Zaporizhia NPP.

In addition, according to the SNRIU head, the IAEA leadership, by its inaction and ambiguous position, not only contributes to the further aggravation of the situation at Zaporizhia NPP, but also relays the theses of the Kremlin propaganda, declaring before the audience of the World Economic Forum in Davos about the presence at Zaporizhia NPP occupied by Russians "30,000 kilogram of plutonium and 40,000 kilogram of enriched uranium suitable for the manufacture of nuclear weapons."

"This is clear evidence that the IAEA, represented by its director general, is under the influence of Russian propaganda and does not have reliable information," Korikov said.

He also categorically refuted Grossi's statements about the reserves of plutonium and enriched uranium at Zaporizhia NPP and in Ukraine as a whole, explaining that all operating Ukrainian nuclear power plants use nuclear fuel unsuitable for the manufacture of nuclear weapons in the form of fuel assemblies enriched up to 5%.

"This is well known to IAEA, which annually confirms in its Safeguards Implementation Report Ukraine's compliance with its obligations for the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear material that is under its control," the head of the Ukrainian nuclear regulator said.

According to him, it is technically and politically impossible for Ukraine to manufacture and store weapons-grade plutonium or uranium, even in quantities of a few grams, due to the lack of technology and a political ban on their production.

He said that during the implementation of the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit Camuniqué, Ukraine voluntarily lost all highly enriched uranium (HEU) on its territory, which was an outstanding event.

"It is very sad that the impudent lies of Russian propaganda are being broadcast at the high level of a top official of the IAEA," the SNRIU head said.