Rafael Grossi, the director general of the IAEA, stated that the agency’s mission at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant needs to be defined.
We need a secure route’ |IAEA declares possibility of permanent presence at Zaporizhzhia amid nuclear fears
Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, on Thursday, August 25 stated that the agency’s mission at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) needs to be defined, and it may even need to establish a ‘permanent presence’ there. Grossi had earlier stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission would reach the nuclear power plant in the upcoming days.
“In an interview with RFI radio, Grossi said, “This is a difficult mission… We need to secure a route, we need to do it in coordination between the two countries… We also need to rely on the support of the UN and its armored vehicles to take us to the place… We need to clearly define the parameters of the mission and, possibly, establish a permanent agency presence on site.”
The United Nations said on August 23 that plans are being made to send an inspection team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ZNPP. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe has been shelled several times, raising fears of a nuclear disaster. This comes after Ukrainian operator Energoatom on Thursday claimed that the ZNPP was completely disconnected from the power grid.
The plant is situated near Enerhodar on the left bank of the Dnieper. In terms of the number of units and installed capacity, this nuclear power plant is the biggest in Europe. The Russian military has been guarding it since March. The Russian Foreign Ministry had earlier emphasised the need for the Russian military to protect the power plant in order to stop the leakage of nuclear and radioactive materials.
Russia, Ukraine blame each other for attacks on Zaporizhzhia NPP
Russia and Ukraine both blame each other for the nuclear facility attacks. During an emergency Security Council meeting called by Russia, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo expressed grave concern about the dangerous situation in and around the nuclear plant.
DiCarlo said, “Regrettably, despite numerous calls and appeals, instead of de-escalation, we continue to see almost daily reports of alarming incidents involving the plant. If such incidents continue or escalate, we could face a disaster.”
She urged Russia and Ukraine to provide the UN’s nuclear watchdog with immediate, secure, and unfettered access to the plant, calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops and demilitarisation of the site. DiCarlo stated that it was critical to reestablish Zaporizhzhia as a purely civilian infrastructure and to ensure the area’s safety. Russia took control of the facility on March 4, about two weeks after it launched its offensive against Ukraine.