Ukraine: How the nuclear community can help

Hand holds Ukrainian flag

By Jerry Hopwood, UNENE President and CEO

APRIL 6, 2022 – For all of us, the unfolding events in Ukraine are a stark demonstration of the damage and loss from war. The people of Ukraine are suffering in immeasurable ways, and humanitarian efforts, while not able to end the suffering today, are a way for the world to help. And Canadians, with our strong connections and Ukrainian community, are already reaching out.

UNENE, as a member of the nuclear community working together throughout the world, is aware of particular challenges for our colleagues in Ukraine, both students and academics, as well as nuclear industry workers. And we want to support efforts for safety of nuclear facilities, and all the personnel involved, including the important steps by the IAEA. In addition, we feel it is important to support connections by Canadian and international institutions with the Ukrainian nuclear community, who may benefit from our help in the next days and months, and who face severe difficulties in their work and well-being. This includes both people in Ukraine and in Canada, such as visiting students, who may face new challenges from loss of contact, family or income.

What is being done now – some examples:

  • Ukrainian organizations in Canada are active both in fundraising and in monitoring individual needs, steering fundraising to major campaigns.
  • The Government of Canada is providing support through individual assistance to refugees and through support to funds.
  • Ukraine-Canada Students Union is coordinating response to universities for individual students, and many individual universities are providing assistance to students.
  • The American Nuclear Society (ANS) and European Nuclear Society (ENS) are liaising closely with Ukrainian Nuclear Society to gather information about Ukrainian nuclear workers, and have set up a fund to directly support these workers. The Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) is coordinating with these initiatives.
  • The IAEA is proactively monitoring situation in Ukrainian nuclear plants and is demanding actions to maintain safety and security for the workers and the public.

What we can do:

  • Provide funding support through the International Red Cross, Government of Canada, or the ANS-ENS Ukraine nuclear workers fund. See the statement from April 5th from ANS and ENS in support of Ukrainian nuclear workers for more.
  • Support any Ukrainian students as we hear about them.
  • Actively connect with Ukrainian nuclear sources, e.g. through the Ukrainian Nuclear Society.
  • Raise our voice in support of students and workers who are being impacted so severely by this crisis.

Useful links to follow: