Ukraine Reports Higher Chernobyl Radiation after Russians Capture Plant

An aerial view from a plane shows a New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine April 3, 2021. (Reuters)
An aerial view from a plane shows a New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine April 3, 2021. (Reuters)
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Ukraine Reports Higher Chernobyl Radiation after Russians Capture Plant

An aerial view from a plane shows a New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine April 3, 2021. (Reuters)
An aerial view from a plane shows a New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine April 3, 2021. (Reuters)

Ukraine said on Friday it had recorded increased radiation levels from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a day after the site was captured by Russian forces, due to military activity causing radioactive dust to rise into the air.

The former power plant was captured by Russian forces on Thursday after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said.

Experts at Ukraine's state nuclear agency did not provide exact radiation levels but said the change was due to the movement of heavy military equipment in the area lifting radioactive dust into the air.

"Radiation starts to increase. It is not critical for Kyiv for the time being, but we are monitoring," the interior ministry said.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Friday that the critical infrastructure of the plant has not been damaged and essential maintenance work was ongoing.

The still-radioactive site of the 1986 nuclear disaster lies some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Kyiv.

Ukraine's neighbor Poland said it had not recorded any increase in radiation levels on its territory.

France-based independent nuclear watchdog CRIIRAD said in a statement Friday it was trying to verify and cross-check the information at their laboratory.

"If the dose rates recorded correspond to real values, the situation is extremely worrying," CRIIRAD said, adding that further research is needed to interpret the data.

The resuspension of soil from military activities, or damage to nuclear facilities, being either storage of waste or the containment structure, could be one of the reasons for the rise in radioactivity levels, CRIIRAD spokesperson Bruno Chareyron said.

Another possibility was that the readings were inaccurate as a result of interference from cyberattacks, he said.

The area has many high risk installations, including radioactive waste processing and storage facilities, most of them unsecured, CRIIRAD said.

Other reactors in Ukraine also pose a safety risk in case of an accident, the watchdog said. While it was possible to reduce the potential risk by shutting down the reactors, Ukraine depends on nuclear power for more than 50% of their electricity supply, it said.



Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
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Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo

Azerbaijan is proposing to sign a document with Armenia on the basic principles of a future peace treaty as an interim measure as they wrangle over a broader deal, a senior Azerbaijani official said on Sunday.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly said they want to sign a peace treaty to end the conflict over the former breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, reported Reuters.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Saturday a text of a treaty was 80%-90% ready but repeated it was impossible to sign it before Armenia amended its constitution to remove an indirect reference to Karabakh independence, which Armenia has rejected.
Karabakh's ethnic Armenian inhabitants enjoyed de facto independence from Azerbaijan for more than three decades until September 2023, when a lightning Azerbaijani offensive retook the territory and prompted around 100,000 Armenians to flee.
Both countries have in recent months sought to make progress on the peace treaty, including the demarcation of borders, with Armenia agreeing to hand over to Azerbaijan four contested border villages.
A document on the basic principles could be considered as a temporary measure and form the basis of the bilateral ties and ensure neighborly relations between the two countries, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to the president, told Reuters.
It can be signed until Azerbaijan holds COP29 climate summit in November, Hajiyev added.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in June that a peace treaty with Azerbaijan was close to completion but that his country would not accept its demands that it change its constitution.
After he made those comments, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators, the latest in a series of protests denouncing his policies, including the handing back of ruined villages to Azerbaijan, and demanding his resignation.
On July 5, Constitution Day in Armenia, Pashinyan said the country needed a new constitution "which the people will consider to be what they created, what they accepted, what is written in it is their idea of the state they created and the relations between people and citizens in that state".