Friday, November 25, 2022

IAEA Results Of Samples Examination Taken In Ukraine Could Come In 1.5-2 Months

The results of the examination of samples taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) specialist at Ukraine's three nuclear sites to check possible traces of a "dirty bomb" could be announced in one and a half or two months, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, has told Sputnik.

"The specialists have taken environmental samples, which is the most important tool at the IAEA's disposal. These samples have been sent to certified laboratories. The result will be probably known in a month and a half. Everything will depend on the speed of work of each of the laboratories, which act independently," Ulyanov said, adding that "the results of the samples will be probably known by late December or early January, and only then will it be possible to give a more or less confident answer to the question of whether or not a 'dirty bomb' has been created at these three sites."

The diplomat said that the agency is capable of detecting the creation of a "dirty bomb," but it is impossible to check all facilities with radioactive materials in Ukraine as there are hundreds of them.

"Yes, the IAEA is a credible organization that, in principle, can detect the creation of a 'dirty bomb' under certain circumstances. But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of facilities in Ukraine that contain radioactive materials. It is impossible to check them all," Ulyanov said.

The officials added that the IAEA specialists "worked for no more than eight hours at each facility, maybe even less;" therefore, it is "hard to imagine that they went around every corner of the huge enterprises during that time."

Moreover, Ulyanov said that the IAEA works only with such nuclear materials as plutonium, uranium, and thorium, and does not deal with cesium, cobalt, and strontium.

In late October, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called his counterparts in several Western countries to share Moscow's concerns about the preparation of a dirty bomb in Ukraine, but they rejected the accusations. The Ukrainian authorities also denied the allegations, insisting on their commitment to non-proliferation.

IAEA, however, decided to send its experts to several locations in Ukraine to investigate Kiev's activities in connection with Russia's warnings. Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, warned IAEA chief Rafael Grossi on October 27 that Kiev could be developing a "dirty bomb" at other sites than those the IAEA mission had been invited to visit.

On November 3, the IAEA said its inspectors have completed inspections at three sites in Ukraine following a request from Kiev and had not identified any undeclared activity there. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said the agency was ready to continue conducting inspections in Ukraine to make sure there were no undeclared activities.

After the results of the visit came out, Ulyanov said the investigation was rather superficial, lasted only several hours, and nobody should have expected "dirty bombs" to be stored in plain sight.

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