Russian Aggression Against Ukraine: Impact on Nuclear Issues
Policy Briefs

Russian Aggression Against Ukraine: Impact on Nuclear Issues

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In this policy brief, Toshio Sano examines the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, particularly its attacks on Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, on various nuclear issues, including nuclear security, IAEA safeguards, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, as well as the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Protecting Ukraine’s nuclear power plants should be a priority, as attacks on these facilities could have devastating consequences. There are several measures that the international community can take to safeguard Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and mitigate the risks posed by Russia’s threats. These measures include increasing international support for Ukraine’s efforts to enhance its security infrastructure, providing technical assistance to improve safety measures at its power plants, and strengthening IAEA safeguards. There is an urgent need for action by the international community to protect Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and prevent further escalation of the crisis. This can be achieved through diplomatic efforts aimed at persuading Putin to act, as well as utilizing the UN General Assembly to dispatch peacekeepers.

About the Author

Toshio Sano was appointed as a Commissioner of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) in December 2017, and reappointed in December 2020. Before the appointment to the commissioner, he had developed his career in the diplomatic circle since his entering into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1977, and had gained considerable experience on the issues related to non-proliferation and the international cooperation in energy policy in the diplomacy. Specifically, he was a Vice- Chair of 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. His former postings include the Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva from 2013 to 2017, the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark from 2010 to 2013, and Director-General of Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Science Department of MOFA from 2008 to 2010.

This policy brief is based on a presentation at an international seminar organized by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in December 2022. It was originally published in Japanese in the May Issue of the Monthly Energy Review Magazine:

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Image: Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station cooling towers (OlyaSolodenko, iStock)