Suffering defeats from the Armed Forces of Ukraine directly on the battlefield, Russian troops use terrorist methods and intentionally launch missile strikes at nuclear and thermal power plants and dams in Ukraine, polluting the environment and cynically violating the fundamental principles of international law.
On September 20, the Ukrainian parliament supported the Appeal to the international community with a request for the urgent establishment under the auspices of international organizations of a special body for environmental monitoring, ensuring its operations in Ukraine, and verifying Russian environmental crimes already recorded by the Ukrainian authorities, and empowerment of such a body with the relevant UN mandate to carry out necessary actions.
Ukraine continues ensuring international support for post-war environmental restoration. During a working visit to Prague, Ruslan Strilets, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, discussed further cooperation between the ministries with Anna Hubáčková, the Minister of Environment of the Czech Republic. Furthermore, at the meeting with Jozef Síkela, the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Ruslan Strilets emphasized that despite the war, Ukraine is open to cooperation with international partners and continues to improve the investment climate.
“Ukraine faces a serious challenge: despite the war, we must adapt the national legislation with the European standards as soon as possible to become finally a full member of the European Union. In the environmental sector, we need to transform the environmental policy in a short period and implement the EU Directives not only on paper but also to enforce them in practice,” – Ruslan Strilets commented.
On September 15, Minister Ruslan Strilets and the Ambassador of Egypt to Ukraine Ayman ElGammal discussed preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 to be held in Egypt and Ukraine’s participation in this event.
Nuclear and radiation safety threats
Russian troops continue to commit acts of nuclear terrorism at nuclear power plants in Ukraine.
On September 19, at 00:20,the Russian army launched a missile attack on the industrial site of the South Ukraine nuclear power plant.
A powerful explosion took place just 300 meters from the SUNPP reactors. The shock wave damaged the NPP buildings, over 100 windows were damaged. A hydropower unit of the Oleksandrivska HPP, a part of the South Ukrainian power complex, shut down. Three high-voltage power lines were down as well. All three SUNPP power units are operating in normal mode. Fortunately, no one among the power plant staff was injured.
On September 21, as a result of another shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by Russian troops, the equipment linking the ZNPP power unit No. 6 to the open switchgear was damaged.
Following the attack, the unit transformer and the unit auxiliary transformers were disconnected. Due to the loss of power, two diesel generators of the safety systems urgently started working to ensure the operations of the fuel cooling pumps.
On September 15, the IAEA Board of Governors, consisting of 35 UN member states representatives, adopted the Resolution on the safety, security, and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine. The Resolution acknowledges that the Russian persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine, including forcefully seizing control of nuclear facilities, and the ongoing presence of Russian forces and Rosatom personnel at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, continue to pose serious and direct threats to the safety and security of these facilities and their civilian personnel, thereby significantly raising the risk of a nuclear accident or incident, which endangers the population of Ukraine, neighbouring states and the international community.
The IAEA calls on the Russian Federation to immediately cease all actions against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine in order for the competent Ukrainian authorities to regain full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.
On September 16, a convoy of 25 trucks of the Ukrainian state company Energoatom, having passed Russian checkpoints, reached the city of Energodar. The company ensured the delivery of the spare parts needed as a matter of priority for repairing damaged power lines and power units of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. In addition, the supply of chemical reagents needed for the operation of the ZNPP was replenished, and additional supplies of fuel were delivered to ensure the operation of diesel generators in case of a power outage at the plant.
Despite such measures taken by the Ukrainian side, the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP continues to threaten global radiation safety.