Ukraine told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that new wildfires in the area near the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) did not pose a radioactive threat to people, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
Informing the IAEA about the occurrence of the wildfires, Ukraine said the gamma dose rate levels in the vicinity of the Chornobyl NPP were “not exceeding the reference levels”.
The Director General said that, based on previous experience, such fires could lead to a very small increase of radioactive concentration in the air. He said the Agency agreed with Ukraine’s assessment that it would not constitute a danger to human health. Spontaneous fires often occur in the area, still contaminated by radioactive material from the 1986 accident, this time of the year.
In March, when the plant was still occupied by Russian forces, Ukraine also informed the IAEA about wildfires in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone that were not expected to cause any significant radiological concern. The Exclusion Zone was established around the Chornobyl NPP after the accident 36 years ago.
Ukraine also informed the IAEA today that there had been no significant developments related to nuclear safety and security in the country over the past 24 hours.
Regarding the country’s 15 operational reactors at four NPPs, Ukraine said eight are currently connected to the grid, including two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at the Rivne NPP, two at the South Ukraine NPP, and one at the Khmelnytskyy NPP. The seven other reactors are shut down for regular maintenance or held in reserve. Safety systems remain operational at the four NPPs, and they also continue to have off-site power available, Ukraine said.
In relation to safeguards, IAEA headquarters is receiving remote safeguards data from the Chornobyl NPP as well as from the four operational plants in Ukraine. This follows last week’s full re-establishment of such transmission from Chornobyl.