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IAEA says no sign of ‘dirty bomb’ work at Ukrainian sites – Kyiv hails report

On Thursday (5 January), the UN nuclear watchdog declared that there was no evidence for undeclared nuclear activity in three locations in Ukraine that it had inspected at Kyiv’s request. This was in response Russian claims of a “dirty bomb” being used for nuclear work.

Moscow accused Ukraine repeatedly of plotting to use such bomb, which is a conventional explosive device laced with radioactive material. The claim also stated that the preparations were carried out by institutes linked to the nuclear industry without providing any evidence. The Ukrainian government denies the accusation.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy (the Ukrainian President) praised the conclusion and stated in a video address that “the only dirty things in this region right now are the heads of those who unfortunately seized control of the Russian state and terrorize Ukraine.”

Some Western and Ukrainian officials accuse Moscow, claiming it lied to cover up the dirty bomb detonation. They also blame Kyiv.


“Over the last few days, inspectors have been in a position in which to perform all activities that IAEA intended to conduct and were granted unrestricted access at the locations,” stated the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Based on the evaluations made of the results and information provided by Ukraine, the agency concluded that there were no evidences of undeclared nukes or materials at these sites.”

The IAEA announced last month, following a request by Kyiv that it would inspect two locations in Ukraine. The IAEA stated that inspections began Monday, and they had been completed at three locations instead of just two. This was Kyiv’s request.


IAEA identified three locations as the Institute for Nuclear Research, Eastern Mining and Processing Plant Zhovti Koody and Production Association Pivdennyi Machinery-Building Plant Dnipro.

According to the statement, inspectors collected samples from environmental areas which will be sent for laboratory analysis. The IAEA will then make a report.

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