The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sends personnel to the old Chernobyl nuclear power plant and other nuclear sites in Ukraine. Director-General Rafael Grossi says he has reached an agreement with Ukraine about the presence of his staff.
Grossi went to Ukraine this week to visit a nuclear power plant and meet with Ukrainian authorities, then went on to Russia for consultations there. It has been agreed separately with both parties that nuclear safety must be maintained. Grossi said where and when IAEA staff would be deployed will be determined in consultation with Ukraine.
The Chernobyl plant no longer generates electricity, but radioactive waste is still stored. Russian troops took the plant on the first day of the war. They left the site on March 31. The reason behind the departure is not known to the UN watchdog. However, IAEA chief Grossi speaks of a step in the right direction.
According to Ukraine, some of the Russian soldiers were seen on Friday in the so-called exclusion zone around the nuclear power plant. The radiation level there increased due to the significant nuclear disaster in 1986.
During the occupation, a relatively higher radiation level was observed locally as a result of the movement of heavy vehicles, which stirred up dust. However, Grossi said that radiation levels may also have been higher when the troops left.