About 210 employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have been working non-stop for 13 days since Russia seized the site. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the information was provided by the Ukrainians.
Technicians and guards were already working at the factory for a day when the Russians arrived. Ukraine has reported to the United Nations (UN) that these workers have limited access to food, water and medicine.
IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi has stated that personnel responsible for operating nuclear facilities need to rest and work regular shifts so as not to jeopardize general nuclear safety.
“I am deeply concerned about the difficult and stressful situation faced by the personnel of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the potential risks this poses to nuclear safety. I appeal to the forces in effective control of the site to urgently facilitate the safe rotation of personnel there,” he said.
According to a statement from the UN agency, work related to nuclear materials at the plant has been temporarily suspended. Also, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, it transmitted data remotely from monitoring systems installed at the station.
A relative of one of the factory workers told the BBC that Russia was ready to allow a shift change. However, it cannot guarantee the safety of workers on their way home or employees who will travel to replace colleagues.
On Sunday, the Russians offered to deliver food, but the Ukrainian workers refused, claiming it was a publicity stunt.
Temporary dormitories were created, with some staff sleeping on camp beds and tables, and others on the floor.
The workers were divided into single-shift shifts, with one group working while the other rested in the factory itself.
* Intern under sub-editor, Eduardo Oliveira
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