The head of the IAEA, Grossi, issued a disturbing statement regarding the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

, 20:01, 07.02.2024
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, now under Russian occupation, for the fourth time on February 7th. The plant is converted into a military base.

The head of the IAEA, Grossi, issued a disturbing statement regarding the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

IAEA Director Visits Occupied Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited the temporarily occupied Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Wednesday, February 7th. This marks Rafael Grossi's fourth visit to ZNPP since it was taken over by the Russians. The occupiers have turned ZNPP into a military base.

During the fourth visit to ZNPP, Grossi assessed compliance with the five principles of plant protection, the condition of current power and cooling systems, and the level of staff qualifications. These assessments are crucial for the safety and security of the facility, and there is no room for complacency, said the head of the agency.

Russian terrorists seized the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on March 4, 2022. They entered with battles, shut it down almost immediately, turned it into their military base, allowed eight shutdowns of the station, and mined the perimeter again.

Two other significant problems have compounded these issues. They could significantly disrupt the fragile balance that the IAEA director talks about. First, there is a critical shortage of licensed staff at the station. Out of the ten thousand who were supposed to work there, only half remained. Some of them are simply not allowed to work by Russians due to their pro-Ukrainian position. This poses a direct threat to the station's security.

Additionally, Energoatom states that the manufacturer's permitted residence period of nuclear fuel in all six reactors is coming to an end. This poses another new threat to nuclear security.

"This is a very important issue. The matter of nuclear fuel disposal. We talked about this with the minister today. And this issue will be topic number one in my talks tomorrow with the current management of the station, and then with the management of Russia. We assume that after arriving at the station, we will be able to make an independent assessment"
said Grossi.

The most important question is whether a solution can be found. So far, in a world that has never faced such a challenge, there are few options. ZNPP must return to Ukrainian control.

Occupation of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and the threat of detonation

ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Russian troops captured it in March 2022. Employees were subjected to interrogation and torture, and the deceased are known to have died.

On June 25, 2023, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Russian troops had mined four power units and the radiator of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and approved the detonation plan. He noted that this could lead to the worst man-made disaster of all time.

In November 2023, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, said that the "crisis moment" regarding the possibility of detonating ZNPP had passed, but the situation was still dangerous.

On January 2, 2024, the IAEA reported that the Russians continue to prevent the agency's experts from entering the reactor halls of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

On January 19, the IAEA reported that the Russians had again mined ZNPP along its perimeter and this week ZNPP lost direct, backup power to its reactor units for several hours.

#ZNPP#Energodar#Kyrylo Budanov

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