Update 110 – Statement by the IAEA Director General on the situation in Ukraine

After receiving information about the detention of Ihor Murashov, Director General of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya (ZNPP), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) contacted the competent authorities and was informed that Mr Murashov is in pre-trial detention, chief executive Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.

The IAEA, in line with its nuclear safety and security mandate, is actively seeking clarification and hopes for a speedy and satisfactory resolution of this matter, Director General Grossi said. He reiterated that this detention has a very significant impact on at least two of the seven indispensable pillars of nuclear safety and security that he defined at the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

“Such detention of any plant personnel would be of grave concern in itself, but also for its psychological impact and pressure on other personnel – which is detrimental to nuclear safety and security,” said general manager Grossi. .

In addition, the Director General of ZNPP is responsible for ensuring the nuclear safety and security of the plant. He ensures that all the plant’s operational procedures are implemented, including those related to nuclear safety, radiation protection of operating personnel and nuclear security. In addition, he activates and directs the response to any on-site nuclear emergency.

“His absence from work in this way also has an immediate and serious impact on decision-making to ensure the safety and security of the plant,” added general manager Grossi.

General Manager Grossi expressed hope that Murashov will return to his family safely and quickly and can resume his important duties at the plant.

Separately today, IAEA experts present at the ZNPP reported that several explosions were again heard near the plant. As with previous explosions reported by the IAEA this week, they are believed to have been caused by landmines. The explosions had no direct impact on ZNPP’s safety or security systems.

Today’s explosions point to a continued increase in the number of landmine explosions reported this week outside the perimeter fence of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which is controlled by Russian forces but operated by its Ukrainian staff. General Manager Grossi remains deeply concerned about the recurrence of such landmine explosions near the plant.

Director General Grossi is continuing his consultations and other efforts to agree and implement a nuclear safety and security zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible. He is expected to travel to Kyiv and Moscow next week.