August 30, 2022

IAEA to Visit Zaporizhia Nuclear Plant ‘in Next Few Days,’ as Ukraine Officials Hand out Iodine Pills

OLEKSANDRA OCHMAN, KOSTAN NECHYPORENKO, HIRA HUMAYUN, DARYA TARASOVA AND MICHELLE VELEZ | CNN

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are expected to go to the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia power plant later this week, as the city’s authorities made iodine pills available to residents due to fears over a possible nuclear accident. On Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi confirmed he is leading a team from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog that will visit the facility in the coming days. He said on Twitter that the “day has come” and that the mission “is now on its way. We must protect the safety and security of #Ukraine’s and Europe’s biggest nuclear facility,” Grossi tweeted Monday.

Russia Blocks Final Document at Nuclear Treaty Conference

EMIKO JOZUKA AND JESSIE YEUNG | CNN

Russia late Friday blocked agreement on the final document of a four-week review of the U.N. treaty considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament which criticized its military takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear plant soon after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, an act that has raised fears of a nuclear disaster. Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, told the delayed final meeting of the conference reviewing the 50-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that “unfortunately there is no consensus on this document.”

Biden Navigates Iran Clashes in Syria as Negotiators Inch Toward Nuclear Deal 

LARA SELIGMAN | POLITICO

President Joe Biden looked to strike a tricky balance on Iran this week, as he attempts to restore the Iran nuclear deal while reassuring allies that Washington can still push back on Tehran’s malign activities. The two countries have resolved some of the thorniest stumbling blocks in negotiations on reviving the 2015 deal in recent days, and appear headed toward an agreement. But simultaneously, U.S. and Iran-backed forces clashed in Syria this week in several skirmishes that left four militants dead and three U.S. service members wounded.

Iran President: No Way Back to Nuclear Deal if Probe Goes On

NASSER KARIMI AND JON GAMBRELL | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Iran’s president warned Monday that any roadmap to restore Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers must see international inspectors end their probe on man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in the country.

Belarus Claims Nuclear Weapons Mods are Completed on its Warplanes 

JAROSLAW ADAMOWSKI | DEFENSE NEWS

As Belarus’s involvement in the Russian war against Ukraine continues to push Minsk towards an even closer military cooperation with Moscow, Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko has announced that Russia upgraded his country’s jets to enable them to carry tactical atomic weapons... Last June, during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Lukashenko asked Putin to modernize his country’s Sukhoi Su-25s to allow them to carry nuclear weapons. The Belarusian authoritarian leader claimed this would enable the country’s air force to mirror NATO drills. During the same meeting, Russia’s leader said his country will provide nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to Belarus.

Fukushima Town Lifts Evacuation Order, Allowing Former Residents to Return 11 Years After Nuclear Disaster

EMIKO JOZUKA AND JESSIE YEUNG | CNN

More than a decade after Japan’s worst nuclear disaster, the town that hosts the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant finally lifted its evacuation order on Tuesday, allowing former residents to come home. The town of Futaba, previously deemed off-limits, is the last of 11 districts to lift its evacuation order, a spokesman for the town’s municipal office told CNN.