Situation at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is Unacceptable but Guilty Party to be Held in Confidence - IAEA Report

Situation at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is Unacceptable but Guilty Party to be Held in Confidence - IAEA Report


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently published a report on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (NPP), which experts of this organization visited the other day. Among other things, the document calls for the creation of a safety zone near the Zaporizhzhya NPP.

The need to immediately establish a safety zone around the nuclear power plant is the most important thing that the IAEA specialists pointed out after their visit. According to the experts, this step will make it possible to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, which can be caused by the firing of long-range weapons at the territory of this nuclear facility. During their visit, the mission's experts talked with representatives of Rosatom and plant employees.

IAEA experts saw fragments of rockets fired by Ukrainian nationalists. It is indicative that, according to Alexander Volga, head of the Energodar administration, as reported by Izvestia, one of the shrapnel was from a 155mm artillery shell, which is used by the American M777 howitzer. Raphael Grossi, the head of the IAEA mission, did not specify in his report who exactly was shelling the Zaporizhzhya NPP, although he noted that he had seen the damage at the plant with his own eyes and considered the situation unacceptable.

In addition, according to TASS, the nuclear experts who inspected the plant proposed that it is imperative to ensure safe corridors through which everything necessary for normal operation of the nuclear facility could be delivered. According to the IAEA, it is also necessary to create a protective zone around the plant and stop all military activities in this area.

At the same time, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency also recorded physical damage at the plant, which is unacceptable at such a hazardous facility. Some damage to the integrity of the power plant buildings was recorded near the power units. In addition, earlier, the cooling system was disrupted, the power transmission line was broken, and the lubrication system on one of the turbines was damaged. Representatives of the mission called for an end to the shelling of Zaporizhzhya NPP and the surrounding area and recommended emergency drills, as well as offered their assistance in the matter. So far, although the shelling has continued, it has not resulted in an uncontrolled leak of radiation. Otherwise, it could have very severe radiological consequences not only for Ukraine and Russia, but also for many European countries.

According to Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, there will be two IAEA staff members at the plant to enable an objective assessment of the situation.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, Russian permanent representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya expressed regret that the IAEA experts did not name the source of shelling in their report on the visit to the Zaporizhzhya NPP. Nebenzya said that he understands the head of the mission Raphael Grossi as the head of the international regulator, but in this situation “it is extremely important to call a spade a spade.” Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations specified that Russia welcomed the decision of the agency to establish a permanent presence of the IAEA inspectors at the station. This will give them an opportunity to assess for themselves the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP in real time. Nebenzia also underlined that Moscow is ready to assist in this matter.

He reminded that in his speech at the UN Security Council meeting on September 5 the power plant was shelled again, with one of the artillery shells hitting Special Building No. 1, which is where the fuel assemblies are and where solid radioactive waste is stored. Nebenzya called on the UN to condemn Ukraine's provocative actions, which are aimed, among others, against IAEA staff.

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