Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Agenda item 8: Nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine

IAEA Board of Governors

Agenda item 8: Nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine

14 September 2023

Statement by H.E Ambassador Ian Biggs, Governor and Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA



Australia welcomes the Director General’s report on nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine. The report once again highlights the devastating impact that Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion is having on Ukraine.

Australia would like to remind the Board that Russia’s attempted illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory has no validity under international law. Furthermore, Russia has failed to comply with three Board resolutions calling on Russia to cease all actions against and at nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

As we have previously made clear the most effective means of protecting Ukraine’s nuclear infrastructure involves a complete Russian withdrawal and the return of control to Ukraine.  

We commend the Director General for undertaking his third visit to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant immediately following the June Board meeting.

We further commend the Agency for the continued presence of its staff at all five of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. Australia acknowledges this presence is vital in ensuring the nuclear safety and security of these nuclear facilities. This has allowed the Agency to continue its verification work and to decrease the risk of nuclear accident. We acknowledge the very challenging conditions that IAEA staff are operating under and call for their safe and regular rotation.


Australia condemns Russia’s reckless and dangerous actions in relation to Ukrainian nuclear facilities.

We note with concern the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in June 2023 and the subsequent reduction in the water level continues to pose a significant challenge to safety at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

We once again call on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from nuclear facilities in Ukraine and return their control to Ukraine’s competent authorities.


We thank IAEA member states for their continued assistance and cooperation to respond to nuclear safety and security challenges in Ukraine resulting from Russia’s illegal actions.

Australia is proud to support Ukraine, both through the provision of practical assistance through the IAEA, and through our steadfast commitment to empower Ukraine to end the war on its own terms.

With these comments, we note and commend the Director General’s report and request that GOV/2023/44 be made public.