American and European nuclear societies issue joint statement denouncing attacks on Ukraine's nuclear facilities and misinformation

April 5, 2022, 11:48AMPress Releases

The European Nuclear Society (ENS) and the American Nuclear Society (ANS) issued a joint statement expressing support for their Ukrainian colleagues and the International Atomic Energy Agency in ensuring the continued safe operation of Ukraine's nuclear power plants and facilities, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Along with condemning attacks on Ukraine's nuclear facilities and demanding an end to further hostilities around them, ENS and ANS denounced misinformation on nuclear safety and risks, including misinformation about the risks that a release of radioactive material could present to the public, and rejected unfounded allegations that Ukraine is using its civilian nuclear program to develop weapons.

"Actions which jeopardise nuclear safety or manipulate public fear of radiation will yield disadvantages to all involved in this conflict," wrote ENS Professor Leon Cizelj and ANS President Steven P. Nesbit in the joint statement. "Irresponsible tactics regarding nuclear risks stand to exacerbate suffering and reduce the tools at humanity’s disposal for the common challenges of peaceful, sustainable development and avoiding climate change."

ENS and ANS spoke on behalf of their international memberships, which together account for over 22,000 professionals in the fields of nuclear science and technology across Europe, the United States and the world.

Europe's and America's respective nuclear professional societies also manage the ANS-ENS Ukrainian Nuclear Workers Humanitarian Fund to help Ukrainian nuclear workers and their families impacted by the war. All donations of the fund go directly to ENS member organization, the Ukrainian Nuclear Society, for essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment, batteries, flashlights, warm clothes, food, and other items.

Read the full statement here or below.

Statement On The Conflict In Ukraine From The World’s Nuclear Energy Workers

Deeply concerned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the exposure of nuclear facilities to fighting and worrying public rhetoric, the undersigned scientists, engineers, and professionals of the nuclear energy sector, represented by the American and European Nuclear Society:

  • Recognise the dedication and expertise of our Ukrainian colleagues who have been safely generating the power that citizens need;
  • Condemn the attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on 3 March 2022, which was a violation of article 56 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention [1] which protects civil infrastructure including nuclear power plants, dams and dykes from attack;
  • Demand an end to further hostilities at any nuclear energy facility and decry any military action, whether deliberate or careless, which reduces the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine, nuclear energy workers or International Atomic Energy Agency officials in Ukraine;
  • Support the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency to establish a framework for the continued safe operation of nuclear facilities in Ukraine, noting the importance of ensuring there is no undue pressure on workers carrying out important tasks;
  • Reject unfounded allegations that Ukraine is using its civilian nuclear program to develop weapons and support the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve questions about this and any other matters of non-proliferation.
  • Condemn any interference with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s monitoring equipment at Ukrainian nuclear facilities;
  • Denounce misinformation spread by any party regarding the safety status of nuclear facilities, as well as misinformation about the risks that a release of radioactive material could present to the public;

For decades nuclear energy has avoided the use of dangerous and polluting fossil fuels. In doing so it has saved more than 1.8 million lives around the world from premature deaths in the last half-century [2] and reduced the risk of conflict between global powers in competition for resources.

In this decade nuclear energy stands as a major tool in the global response to climate change [3], because it produces low-carbon heat and electricity while sustainably managing its supply chains and wastes [4]. Nuclear power workers are proud of their role in sustainable energy development.

Actions that jeopardise nuclear safety or manipulate public fear of radiation will yield disadvantages to all involved in this conflict. Irresponsible tactics regarding nuclear risks stand to exacerbate suffering and reduce the tools at humanity’s disposal for the common challenges of peaceful, sustainable development and avoiding climate change.

ENS President – Professor Leon Cizelj

ANS President – Steven P. Nesbit

[1] Fighting at Ukraine Nuclear Power Site Irresponsible, against Geneva Conventions, Under-Secretary-General Tells Security Council, UN SC, 2022, https://reliefweb.int/report/ukraine/fighting-ukraine-nuclear-power-site-irresponsibleagainst-geneva-conventions-under
[2] Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emission from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power, Kharecha Pushker and James Hansen, 2013, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es3051197
[3] Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power, International Atomic Energy Agency, 2020, https://www.iaea.org/publications/14763/climate-change-and-the-role-of-nuclear-power
[4] Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‘do no significant harm’ criteria of Regulation (EU) 2020/852 (‘Taxonomy Regulation’), European Commission Joint Research Centre, 2021, https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC125953


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Established in 1954, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) is an international professional organization of engineers, scientists, and technologists devoted to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its more than 10,000 members represent government, academia, research laboratories, medical facilities, and private industry. ANS’s mission is to advance, foster, and spur the development and application of nuclear science, engineering, and technology to benefit society.

Founded in 1975, the European Nuclear Society (ENS) is the largest society of nuclear science, research, and industry in Europe. ENS brings together more than 12,000 professionals from the academic world, research centres, industry, and authorities. ENS is dedicated to the development of nuclear science and technology and the understanding of peaceful nuclear applications.


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