The UN nuclear watchdog said Thursday it had found no sign of undeclared nuclear activity at three sites in Ukraine it inspected at Kiev’s request in response to Russian accusations that a “dirty bomb” was being worked on.
Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning to use such a bomb — a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material — and said institutes associated with the nuclear industry were involved in the preparations, without providing evidence. The Ukrainian government denies the accusation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised the conclusion, saying in a video speech that “the only dirty things in our region right now are the heads of those in Moscow who have sadly taken control of the Russian state and are terrorizing Ukraine and the whole world. “
Some Ukrainian and Western officials have accused Moscow of charging itself with cover to detonate its own dirty bomb and put the blame on Kiev.
“In the past few days, the inspectors have been able to carry out all the activities that the IAEA intended to carry out and have unrestricted access to the sites,” the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.
“Based on the evaluation of the results available to date and the information provided by Ukraine, the agency has found no evidence of undeclared nuclear activities and materials at the sites.”
The IAEA said last month it would inspect two sites in Ukraine at Kiev’s request. On Monday, it said those inspections had begun and on Thursday it said they had been completed at three sites instead of two, all of which had been named by Russia.
The IAEA named the sites the Institute for Nuclear Research in Kiev, Eastern Mining and Processing Plant in Zhovti Kody, and Production Association Pivdennyi Machine-Building Plant in Dnipro.
Inspectors have also taken environmental samples that will be sent for lab analysis and the IAEA will report on the results, the statement said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
Featured video of the day
“Came to kill Imran Khan,” says attacker arrested after Imran Khan’s shot