Ukraine terminates Russia nuclear agreements

27 June 2022

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of UkraineĀ (SNRIU) says it has terminated international agreements concerning cooperation between the country and Russia in the field of nuclear safety.

Zaporizhzhia is Europe's largest nuclear power plant (Image: Energoatom)

In a statement posted on its website on 27 June, SNRIU said that "due to the military aggression of the Russian Federation, the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine terminates international agreements concerning cooperation between countries in the field of nuclear safety".

It said the order was signed on 24 June by Acting Chairman Oleg Korikov and terminated an agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine and the Federal Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Russia which was signed in Vienna in September 1996. It also terminates the agreement between the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine and the Federal Nuclear and Radiation Safety Supervision of Russia on the exchange of information and cooperation in the field of safety regulation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which was signed in Moscow in August 2002.

The SNRIU statement said "the order was agreed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine - the Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine".

Russia launched its military attack on Ukraine in February. Its forces took control of the Chernobyl site and area from 24 February until the end of March, and have been in control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant since early March. Its Ukrainian staff continue to operate it, but under the control of Russian forces.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned about the number of key nuclear safety rules which have been broken as a result of the military action in and around nuclear power plants, and the continuining occupation of Zaporizhzhia.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who has been trying to organise a mission for its inspectors to Zaporizhzhia, said he was becoming increasingly concerned.

"The situation at this major nuclear power plant is clearly untenable. We are informed that Ukrainian staff are operating the facility under extremely stressful conditions while the site is under the control of Russian armed forces. The recent reports are very troubling and further deepen my concern about the well-being of personnel there," he said.

Energoatom, the company which runs the country's nuclear power plants, said they were all operating within the usual safe limits on 27 June.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News