Live Russia-Ukraine War Updates: Increased Radiation Levels Recorded at Chernobyl After Russian Capture
Ukraine reports increased radiation levels detected at Chernobyl power plant
Ukraine claims to have recorded increased radiation levels from the Chernobyl nuclear power planta day after the site was captured by Russian forces, due to military activity causing radioactive dust to rise in the air.
The former power plant was captured by Russian forces on Thursday after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an adviser to Ukraine’s presidential office said.
The still radioactive site of the 1986 nuclear disaster is about 100 km from Kiev.
Experts from Ukraine’s state nuclear agency said the change was due to the movement of heavy military equipment in the area kicking up radioactive dust into the air.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has declared the radiation at the site presented no danger to the public.
“The regulator’s reported readings of up to 9.46 microsieverts per hour are low and remain within the operational range measured in the exclusion zone since its inception,” the IAEA said.
The Agency’s Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, added that it was vitally important that the safe and secure operations of nuclear facilities in the area were in no way affected or disrupted.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Friday that the factory’s critical infrastructure was undamaged and essential maintenance work was underway.
Poland neighboring Ukraine said it had not recorded any increase in radiation levels on its territory.
France-based independent nuclear watchdog CRIIRAD said in a statement on Friday that it was trying to verify and cross-check information in their lab.
“If the recorded dose rates match the actual values, the situation is extremely concerning,” CRIIRAD said, adding that further research was needed to interpret the data.