Amsterdam, Netherlands – Greenpeace International is calling for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to immediately suspend its Deputy Director General from all official duties due to his former executive role at Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation (ROSATOM).
Officials from ROSATOM are working with the Russian military at the illegally seized Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the Ukraine, which is at risk of a severe accident due to Russia’s invasion.[2,3] In its letter to IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, Greenpeace International warns that the IAEA’s effectiveness in working with the Ukrainian government is directly undermined by the presence of Mikhail Chudakov, a twenty-year veteran of ROSATOM.
“The IAEA’s credibility is directly undermined by having a former ROSATOM official in such a senior position. Mikhail Chudakov could only have been appointed to his position in the IAEA with support from the highest levels of Vladimir Putin’s government. At this time of a major threat to nuclear power plant safety, the Ukraine government must have absolute trust that the confidential and highly sensitive information it is sharing with the IAEA is secure. This is not possible due to the presence of a senior IAEA official with such close ties to ROSATOM — which is now complicit in the illegal military occupation of Ukrainian nuclear reactors at Zaporozhia. It is unprecedented and an outrage,” said Greenpeace East Asia senior nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie.
For over three decades, Mikhail Chudakov held a number of senior positions within the Russian nuclear industry, including in 1999 being appointed Deputy Director of ROSATOM. The sole and legitimate responsibility for the safety of the nuclear reactors in Ukraine are Energoatom, the state regulator SNRIU and the Ukrainian Government. In the letter to DG Grossi, Greenpeace International called for the immediate clarification on what role, if any, Mikhail Chudakov has played in the IAEA response to the nuclear crisis in Ukraine; and full disclosure of communications between the Deputy Director and ROSATOM officials, since the start of the war on Ukraine.
Notes to editors:
1. Letter from Greenpeace International to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) https://www.greenpeace.org/international/greenpeace-international-atomic-energy-agency-letter-rosatom-russian-government/
2. Jan vande Putte / Shaun Burnie, “The vulnerability of nuclear plants during military conflict: Lessons from Fukushima Daiichi – Focus on Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine” https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-international-stateless/2022/03/6805cdd2-nuclear-power-plant-vulnerability-during-military-conflict-ukraine-technical-briefing.pdf
3 SNRIU, “Zaporizhzhia NPP status update as of 12 March 2022 https://snriu.gov.ua/en/news/zaporizhzhia-npp-status-update-12-march-2022
4. Senior-level appointments in the UN specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency https://www.unjiu.org/sites/www.unjiu.org/files/jiu_document_files/products/en/reports-notes/JIU%20Products/JIU_NOTE_2002_1_English.pdf
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