From 29 August to 6 September, the Department of Operational Support (DOS) and the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) supported the International Atomic Energy Agency mission to Zaporizhzhia to inspect the nuclear power plant at risk from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Ongoing violent activities taking place near the power plant have raised grave international concern that a catastrophic nuclear incident could occur at any moment.
Because of this, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) strongly and publicly emphasized the need to organize an expert mission to assess the site and make arrangements to improve site safety.
DOS and DSS directly supported the visit to Zaporizhzhia, where the IAEA inspection team worked to assess physical damage, safety and security systems, staffing conditions, as well as urgent safeguard activities.
DOS specifically contributed to operational planning and the deployment of support expertise, equipment, and supplies in this challenging political, security, and logistical environment.
Nine personnel from the Global Service Centre in Brindisi joined the mission, driving the IAEA team approximately 4,000 kilometres across Ukraine.
They crossed the active line of contact between Ukraine and Russian military forces and remained in proximity of the power plant for a number of days while the members of the IAEA team carried out inspection work.
Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, thanked these brave colleagues as they resolutely completed the mission in such a hazardous environment:
“Thank you for your courage and excellence in your commitment to the goals of the UN and serving those in need. Your performance operating under extreme circumstances in Ukraine underscored the efforts of others from DOS to contribute to the success of this mission.”
The indispensable role played by DOS and DSS in this complex operation was acknowledged by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in his public statements after the mission.
The successful planning and execution of this mission demonstrate the unique advantages brought by collaboration among Secretariat departments to extend support in critical situations.