Ukraine “ups security at nuclear plants”

Ukraine is boosting the “physical security” at its nuclear power plants because of the tensions with Russia, a diplomat’s letter apparently revealed yesterday. Russian aggression towards its smaller neighbour was […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Ukraine is boosting the “physical security” at its nuclear power plants because of the tensions with Russia, a diplomat’s letter apparently revealed yesterday.

Russian aggression towards its smaller neighbour was on full display yesterday, with Russian news agencies reporting it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Ukraine’s nuclear officials clearly have the disastrous 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power accident in the back of their minds.

It has 15 nuclear reactors in action and two under construction with nuclear making up 56.4% of the country’s energy use, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This week at a meeting of the UN’s nuclear watchdog in Vienna, Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk’s letter to the IAEA’s Director General Yukiya Amano is said to have been circulated between delegates.

The letter seen by Reuters, dated 4 March, said: “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.”