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Politico.eu.com | UN nuclear watchdog calls for security zone around Zaporizhzhia
The agency said it wants to start consultations with Ukraine -- the operator of the plant -- and Russia -- its de facto occupier -- about establishing such a security zone "immediately," as it will require agreement "by all relevant parties." [p 13]
The IAEA implements safeguards at 34 nuclear facilities in Ukraine and more than a dozen locations outside facilities (LOFs) handling smaller amounts of nuclear material. The safeguards implementation effort is concentrated at four NPP sites hosting 15 operational power reactors and at the Chornobyl site, which hosts three shutdown reactors, the reactor damaged in the 1986 accident, and two spent fuel processing and storage facilities. [ p 40]
The report also recommended improving working conditions for some 9,000 Ukrainian staff currently operating the plant, noting that they are "under constant high stress and pressure, especially with the limited staff available.
On 13 March, Ukraine informed the IAEA that at least 11 representatives of the Russian Federation's State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" were present at the site. On 29 April, the Ukrainian authorities reported that Rosenergoatom—a unit of Rosatom—had sent a group of nuclear specialists to the ZNPP. These specialists requested daily reports from plant management about "confidential issues" on the functioning of the NPP, covering aspects related to administration and management, maintenance and repair activities, security and access control, and management of nuclear fuel, spent fuel and radioactive waste. The IAEA considers that the presence of Rosatom senior technical staff could lead to interference with the normal lines of operational command or authority and create potential frictions when it comes to decision-making. Energoatom operating teams at the plant have been able to rotate in three shifts per day, but the situation has had a negative impact on staff. [...] the operating staff did not have unrestricted access to some areas, such as the spray cooling ponds, roofs of the buildings, and structures in the area of the water intake, and that access to the cooling ponds area was required to be granted by the military personnel at the site.
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normal staffing level was 1230 for three shifts, whereas there were currently 907 staff for three shifts
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Recommendation 3: The IAEA recommends that an appropriate work environment, including family support, for operating staff should be re-established. Furthermore, as the operator has the prime responsibility for nuclear safety and security, it should be able to fulfil [sic] its mission with clear lines of responsibilities and authorities.[pp 15-16]
"This is not sustainable and could lead to increased human error with implications for nuclear safety," [p 30] the agency warned.
76. Communication between the ZNPP and the SNRIU [State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine] has been severely affected since March with many lines of communication either not functioning or unreliable. Some communication is now possible through mobile phones and email, but there have been no Ukrainian regulatory inspections of the facilities on site.
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81. The team was informed that regulatory oversight inspections on site had been suspended by the SNRIU in April 2022 and that, currently, regulatory oversight was conducted only remotely.
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Recommendation 7: The IAEA recommends that reliable and redundant communication means and channels, including internet and/or satellite connectivity, should be ensured with all external organizations necessary for the safe and secure operation of the facility. [pp 22-23]
by Cat on Tue Sep 6th, 2022 at 07:06:49 PM EST
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