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G7 Non-Proliferation Directors’ Group on Nuclear Safety and Security at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant

The G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union recalls the Statement of the G7 Foreign Ministers of August 10, 2022, in support of the IAEA´s efforts to promote nuclear safety and security at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

The G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group through a press communique mentioned that the Group remains profoundly concerned by the serious threat the continued control of Ukrainian nuclear facilities by Russian armed forces pose to the safety and security of these facilities. These actions significantly raise the risk of a nuclear accident or incident and endanger the population of Ukraine, neighboring states, and the international community. The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its troops from within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and respect Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty. We reaffirm that the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and the electricity that it produces rightly belong to Ukraine and stress that attempts by Russia to disconnect the plant from the Ukrainian power grid would be unacceptable. We underline that Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant should not be used for military activities or the storage of military material.

The G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group welcomes the IAEA-led mission announced by Director General Grossi for August 29, 2022, to address nuclear safety, security and safeguards concerns around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. It also welcomed UN Secretary General Guterres’ efforts to provide necessary support to this mission and continue to emphasize this visit must be conducted in a manner that respects full Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory.

The statement mentioned that the Group reiterates their full and continued support for the IAEA. IAEA staff must be able to access all nuclear facilities in Ukraine timely, safely and without impediment, and engage directly, and without interference, with the Ukrainian personnel responsible for operating these facilities, which must be allowed to carry out its duties without threats or pressure and must be able to acquire information relevant to all the necessary technical elements pertaining to nuclear safety and security at the installations. The safety of all individuals implementing these efforts must be addressed to strengthen nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine.

The Group further reaffirmed the importance of the Seven Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security as outlined by Director General Grossi as being of particular importance and urgency to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and support the IAEA in helping facilitate the implementation of these pillars in Ukraine to uphold the safety and security of their nuclear facilities and intend to continue to support the IAEA financially and technically, including through its technical assistance plan for Ukraine, in its efforts to ensure the nuclear safety and security of, and the application of safeguards to, Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. They expressed their grave concern about recent malicious cyber activity against Ukraine’s nuclear power company and also intend to continue to support cyber security in Ukraine.

As founders of the G7-led Global Partnership, they have worked together with Ukraine for more than 20 years to increase the safety and security of its nuclear facilities. We therefore have a particular responsibility to support international efforts aimed at sustaining these facilities and assisting Ukraine in countering the serious risks Russia’s war of aggression poses to the safety and security of Ukrainian nuclear installations. The Group also intends to make use of the G7 Global Partnership initiative and the Global Partnership meeting in Berlin in October 2022 to invite IAEA representatives to outline possible areas of support to the IAEA’s efforts and intends to continue to raise the issue of nuclear safety and security in Ukraine within IAEA fora, including at the upcoming IAEA Board of Governors and IAEA General Conference meetings.

The Directors Group also mentioned that it deeply regret that Russia blocked consensus at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference because it refused to accept responsibility for the grave situation around the safeguards, safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. This cannot be seen as an act of good faith. Every other NPT state supported the draft outcome. Even though it was not adopted, it provides a solid blueprint for progress on all three NPT pillars. Pic Courtesy: Reuters

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