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Update sep 22: Belgium closely monitors nuclear situation in Ukraine

vlag Oekraïne

For several months now, the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia has been occupied by Russian troops. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed its concern about the situation. Belgium is also closely monitoring the situation.

The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) is working closely with the IAEA to exchange information on the nuclear and radiological situation in Ukraine.

Update September 2022

On 1 September, an IAEA delegation, led by Director-General Grossi, carried out an inspection at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. On 5 September, the IAEA published a report, which showed that during their inspection they had mainly identified problems related to the physical integrity of the plant (due to the ongoing bombardments), the power supply and the staff (staff shortages, longer shifts and stress). The IAEA's main recommendation is the establishment of a 'nuclear safety and security protection zone' around the nuclear power plant. The IAEA will negotiate this as soon as possible with all parties concerned.

Nuclear risk in Belgium

In the event of a nuclear incident leading to the release of radioactive materials, Belgium will act in accordance with the international guidelines. These guidelines state that within a radius of 20 to 30 kilometres, where necessary, measures including sheltering and evacuation will be taken. Indeed, the effects of the released radioactivity are the most harmful within this radius. Within a radius of 100 kilometres, people are advised to take iodine tablets.

Risk management will therefore primarily take place within Ukrainian territory or neighbouring countries. There is no immediate risk for Belgium: sheltering, evacuation and iodine pills are not envisaged. Within Belgian territory, the measures would be largely similar to those taken during the Fukushima incident: oversight of the food chain and continuous monitoring of radioactivity within our territory. In addition, there would in such cases be cooperation and exchange of data within the international structures (such as WENRA, ENSREG ECURIE and the IAEA)

More information

The FANC publishes regular updates on the situation in Ukraine. Visit the FANC website for more information. (French, Dutch and German)