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Ukrainian officials have told the International Atomic Energy Agency that many employees who were forced to stay at the Chernobyl plant when Russian forces took over the facility have been allowed to return home.
Fox News confirmed that a group of 46 employees moved into the facility on Sunday to start a new shift.
Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on February 24, forcing employees there to stay behind and continue operating the plant where the radioactive waste management facilities are located.
Officials repeatedly expressed alarm that employees were fatigued after weeks of uncomfortable forced work and that this compromised the safety of the decommissioned plant.
The authority running the factory did not provide details of how an agreement was reached to allow the workers to leave and others to come to replace them.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi described the rotation as a “positive – albeit long overdue – development”.
Grossi said in a statment. “They’ve been there for a very long time. I sincerely hope that the remaining employees of this shift will also be able to rotate soon.”
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986.
The Associated Press and Nana Sajaya of Fox News contributed to this report.
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