The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it has lost contact with Chernobyl nuclear data systems as the plant is no longer transmitting to the UN’s atomic watchdog.
In a statement on Tuesday, IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi said “remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the Chernobyl NPP had been lost,” and that the agency was currently “looking into the status of safeguards monitoring systems in other locations in Ukraine”.
Grossi also raised concerns about the well-being of 210 technical personnel and guards at the plant when Russian forces seized control two weeks ago.
The agency could only reach the plant by email and the staff had not been rotated out, which is “crucial for nuclear safety”.
“I’m deeply concerned about the difficult and stressful situation facing staff at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and the potential risks this entails for nuclear safety. I call on the forces in effective control of the site to urgently facilitate the safe rotation of personnel there,” Grossi said.