Zaporizhzhia the focus of Grossi interview

December 1, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe


The ongoing, tense situation surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine was the subject of a recent interview with International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Mariano Grossi when he appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes program.

The Zaporizhzhia facility is in an area of Ukraine that became occupied by Russian forces in late February 2022. Though Ukrainian staff remain at the now mostly idle plant, artillery shells have repeatedly landed at and near the plant over the past several months, with Ukrainian officials—along with many Western media outlets—blaming Russia, while Russian officials and media blame Ukraine.

Action from the IAEA: Following months of negotiations with both sides, inspectors from the IAEA, led by Grossi, finally visited the site in late August and early September, and the agency has been monitoring the situation since then with an observation mission at the site. In the interview, which aired on November 20, Grossi did not attribute blame for the shelling to either side.

Bulletin article focuses on World Nuclear Industry Status Report

October 13, 2022, 7:02AMANS Nuclear Cafe

A picture of the state of the global nuclear energy industry has been painted in a recent article by Dawn Stover, a contributing editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Stover based her comments on The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2022 (WNISR), published on October 5. The report refers to itself as an “independent assessment of nuclear developments in the world” compiled by an international team.

What’s in the WNISR: In the report, 10 countries—China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—receive a focused analysis based on specific issues affecting their nuclear businesses. Other chapters deal with the statuses of Fukushima, decommissioning in general, potential newcomer countries to nuclear power, and small modular reactors. For the first time, the WNISR also contains a chapter on nuclear power and war.

Accusations and dire warnings swirl over Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

August 15, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA's director general, addresses the UN Security Council via video link on August 11. (Photo: IAEA)

Contradictory accusations concerning the artillery shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in war-torn Ukraine continue to be made by the Ukrainians and Russians. Both sides have acknowledged several hits on the facility, including 10 artillery strikes on the plant’s administrative office and fire station on August 11. As the two countries blame each other for the attacks, independent authorities have been unable to verify the opposing claims.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned that the situation was in “a serious hour, a grave hour.” UN secretary general António Guterres added that it could “lead to disaster.”

Europe’s changing energy markets described in latest trade reports

July 22, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The European energy data-analysis company EnAppSys has released its second quarter (April–June 2022) electricity market reports: GB Electricity Market Summary and European Electricity Generation Summary. A major focus of both publications is the considerable effects of the war in Ukraine on the European energy markets. The reports also describe how the nuclear energy market in Europe during the second quarter was forced to adapt to reductions in supplies from France due to corrosion and cracking problems that prompted shutdowns in the French nuclear fleet.

A new “cooperative framework” to commercialize advanced nuclear technologies

July 5, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Another call on the Western world to use nuclear power as a way to achieve energy independence from Russia has been sounded, this time by Nicolas Mazzucchi, a research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

As readers of Nuclear Newswire know, several such arguments have been made since the Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted tough sanctions against Russia by Western governments, including restrictions on imports of Russian oil and natural gas. Although designed to harm the Russian economy, these sanctions have also contributed to high energy prices and other economic problems in Western Europe and the United States.

In a recent issue of Nature, Mazzucchi builds on the point that more nuclear power—especially from advanced technologies—offers a way to “avoid another situation like that in Ukraine.” However, he also argues that increased international cooperation is needed to commercialize these technologies.

Craig Piercy discusses ANS response to war in Ukraine

June 2, 2022, 12:01PMANS News


The Association Forum recently highlighted the American Nuclear Society’s rapid response to the unfolding events in Ukraine earlier this year. Kim Kelly of the group’s Forum Magazine conducted an interview with ANS Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Craig Piercy, who described the Society’s efforts to address public safety concerns and correct media reports regarding Ukraine’s nuclear power plants in the early days of the war. Piercy also discussed joint efforts between ANS and the European Nuclear Society (ENS) in setting up a relief fund to help workers in Ukraine’s nuclear energy industry.

Giving accurate information: Piercy noted that “existing international ties and bilateral ties we [ANS] have with other countries really came into play as the Ukraine invasion unfolded.” The Society had a team of nuclear experts in place, some with direct experience in Ukraine, to reach out to media outlets, answer media requests for information, and quickly correct inaccurate information that was reported.