IAEA preparing to inspect two sites in Ukraine over ‘dirty bomb’ claims

VIENNA, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog is preparing to send inspectors to two sites in Ukraine in the coming days at Kyiv’s request, it said on Monday, in an apparent response to Russian claims that Ukraine could host a so-called “contaminant”. bomb, which Ukraine denies.

The announcement of the International Atomic Energy Agency was broadcast following the statement of a senior Russian official that two research institutes related to the nuclear industry in Ukraine are preparing to produce such a bomb. “Dirty bombs” are packed with nuclear materials.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is aware of the Russian Federation’s statement on Sunday about possible activities at two nuclear sites in Ukraine,” the IAEA said in a statement, both of which are already under review and one was reviewed a month ago. more

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“The IAEA is preparing to visit these sites in the coming days. The purpose of the security visits is to detect any possible undeclared nuclear activities and materials,” he added.

According to Russian media, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, head of the Russian nuclear, biological and chemical forces, said in a briefing: “According to the information we have, two organizations in Ukraine have specific instructions to create the so-called dirty bomb.”

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Russia’s state news agency RIA previously identified two sites it said were involved in the operation – the Eastern Mineral Enrichment Plant in the regional capital of Dnepropetrovsk and the Nuclear Research Institute in Kyiv.

The IAEA statement did not mention either facility. But it was quoted by Rafael Grossi, the director general of the IAEA, as saying that the agency “investigated one of these sites a month ago and all our findings are consistent with Ukraine’s security declarations.

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“No undeclared nuclear activity or material was found there.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted yesterday that he had spoken with Grossi and asked him to “send experts to the peaceful facilities in Ukraine that Russia falsely claims is developing a ‘dirty bomb’.”

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Reporting by Francois Murphy and Ronald Popeski; Edited by Franklin Paul and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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