IAEA Says No Sign of Dirty Bomb at Ukrainian Nuclear Sites

The nuclear watchdog inspected three sites in Ukraine after Russia claimed Kyiv was preparing to use a dirty bomb

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no traces of undeclared nuclear activity at sites in Ukraine where Russia alleged work was being done to create a dirty bomb, a conventional explosive mixed with nuclear material.

The IAEA issued a statement Thursday that said its inspectors examined three sites in Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian government and “did not find any indications of undeclared nuclear activities and materials at the locations.”

Russia began warning that Ukraine was preparing to use a dirty bomb toward the end of October, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu even spoke with his Western counterparts about the allegation. Russia also brought the issue to the UN and said its forces were preparing to work under “radioactive contamination.” 

Ukraine and its Western backers dismissed Russia’s allegations and suggested Moscow would use the accusation as a “pretext” to escalate the war. In response to the IAEA’s conclusions, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia the “world’s top liar.”

The dirty bomb allegations have also led to more warnings from the West about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that he has no intention of using nukes in Ukraine. US officials acknowledged this week that they have seen no sign that Russia is preparing for a nuclear strike.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.