The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that it will send an expert mission to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the next few days.
Russia-Ukraine war |IAEA to send ‘expert mission’ to Zaporizhzhia NPP in next few days amid security fears
In a recent development pertaining to the Russia-Ukraine war, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that it will send an “expert mission” to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in the next few days. Earlier on Tuesday, August 23, the UN nuclear watchdog reiterated its request to inspect the safety and security of the largest nuclear plant in Europe amid the continuous shelling around the region. Located in southern Ukraine, the ZNPP is under Russian control since March this year.
“The IAEA’s presence will help stabilise the nuclear safety and security situation at the site and reduce the risk of a severe nuclear accident in Europe. The mission is expected to take place within the next few days if ongoing negotiations succeed,” the UN nuclear agency wrote on Twitter.
The IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi stated that Ukraine has expressed concern over the renewed shelling in recent days which has threatened the safety of the nuclear plant. According to Grossi, Ukraine informed the IAEA that ZNPP infrastructure, including laboratory and chemical facilities, had been destroyed by the bombardment on August 20 & 21.
Russia, Ukraine blame each other for shelling around ZNPP
Additionally, Ukraine said that on August 22, shelling caused damage to the transformers at a nearby thermal power plant, disconnecting the power line that connected the facility to the ZNPP. Notably, both the warring countries, Russia and Ukraine, have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the region around the nuclear power plant. “These incidents show why the IAEA must be able to send a mission to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant very soon. I’m continuing to consult very actively and intensively with all parties so that this vital IAEA mission can take place without further delay,” Grossi added.
The agency’s presence would reduce risk of nuclear disaster: IAEA chief
The IAEA Director General further stated that the agency’s presence will lessen the likelihood of a serious nuclear disaster in Europe and help to stabilise the nuclear safety and security situation at the site. He also pointed out that the IAEA is still receiving remote safeguards data from the sites of the four active nuclear power plants in Ukraine, as well as from the Chornobyl NPP. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian administration has also accused Russian forces of deploying “heavy weapons” at the ZNPP.