Integrity of Nuclear Facilities During Times of Conflict
The International Nuclear Society Council (INSC) calls on all parties to respect the integrity and well-being of nuclear facilities at all times, but especially during times of armed conflict. Military actions at nuclear facilities during the Russian invasion of Ukraine highlight the importance of ensuring the physical integrity of nuclear facilities and thereby protecting the public and plant workers from uncontrolled releases of potentially harmful radionuclides. INSC endorses International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Grossi’s identification of seven pillars required to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities. Those pillars are repeated below.1
- The physical integrity of the facilities – whether it is the reactors, fuel ponds or radioactive waste stores – must be maintained.
- All safety and security systems and equipment must be fully functional at all times.
- The operating staff must be able to fulfil their safety and security duties and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressure.
- There must be secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites.
- There must be uninterrupted logistical supply chains and transportation to and from the sites.
- There must be effective on-site and off-site radiation monitoring systems and emergency preparedness and response measures.
- And finally, there must be reliable communications with the regulator and others.
- “IAEA Director General Calls for Restraint, Reiterates Need to Ensure Safety of Ukraine’s Nuclear Facilities and Their Staff,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, March 2, 2022. (https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-director-general-calls-for-restraint-reiterates-need-to-ensure-safety-of-ukraines-nuclear-facilities-and-their-staff )