Home > News > World
Wednesday March 5, 2014 MYT 2:45:03 AM
Wednesday March 5, 2014 MYT 2:45:59 AM
VIENNA (Reuters) - Ukraine is reinforcing the protection of its nuclear power plants, it told the U.N. atomic watchdog on Tuesday, because of "a grave threat to the security" of the country posed by the Russian military.
Ukraine has 15 nuclear power reactors in operation, accounting for nearly 44 percent of its electricity production in 2013, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) website.
Ukraine's envoy to the IAEA said in a letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano: "Illegal actions of the Russian armed forces on Ukrainian territory and the threat of use of force amount to a grave threat to security of Ukraine with its potential consequences for its nuclear power infrastructure."
Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk's letter, dated March 4, was circulated among delegations attending a week-long meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation governing board in Vienna. It was given to Reuters by a diplomat from another country.
President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia's military intervention in Crimea on Tuesday and reserved the right to use all options to protect compatriots after the overthrow of Ukraine's Russian-backed President Victor Yanukovich, but he said the use of force would be a last resort.
Prokopchuk's letter to Amano, apparently written before Putin's comments, said: "Under these circumstances, the competent authorities of Ukraine make every effort to ensure physical security, including reinforced physical protection of 15 power units in operation at four sites of Ukrainian NPPs (nuclear power plants).
"However, consequences of the use of military force by the Russian federation against Ukraine will be unpredictable."
On Sunday, Ukraine's parliament called for international monitors to help protect its nuclear power plants, as tension mounted with its neighbour.
Prokopchuk urged Amano to "join international efforts in de-escalating the crisis around Ukraine and to urgently raise the issue of nuclear security" with Russia.
Amano said on Monday there were 31 nuclear-related facilities in Ukraine that were being monitored by the IAEA to make sure there was no diversion of material for military purposes, as it does in other countries with nuclear plants.
He said it was the responsibility of individual countries to ensure the security of nuclear power plants.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
Late Fukushima manager flagged risks of Japan's big nuclear plants
Nuclear energy should be kept out of politics - Russia's Rosatom
Japan nuclear plants not affected by strong quake
Japan to OK nuclear plant return while pushing to close old reactors
Japan approves nuclear restart amid push to close old reactors
Housing project helps South Africa's platinum miners escape shanty towns
U.S. pledges 3,000 troops to fight West Africa's Ebola crisis
World hunger easing but 1 in 9 people undernourished - food agencies
Islamic State goes underground in Syrian stronghold
French PM Valls sees off revolt to win confidence vote
Nine killed, 30 wounded in new clashes in Libya's Benghazi - medic
New 'Lord Of The Rings' tour marks its 60th anniversary
Behold! The ‘Mockingjay’ trailer fans have been waiting for is finally here
U.S. general says cannot rule out larger ground role in Iraq
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)