IAEA mission arrives at Zaporizhia NPP

The delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found in Ukraine has reached the Zaporizhia nuclear power plantseveral hours behind schedule and despite the fighting in the area that took place this Thursday.

The group of 14 IAEA experts has as its mission assess the security situation in Zaporizhiathe largest nuclear power plant in Europe, occupied by Russian troops almost since the beginning of their invasion of Ukraine more than six months ago.

The director of the IAEA, Raphael Mariano Grossiwho heads the delegation, has ruled out canceling the mission despite the risks.

Grossi wants to contact the plant’s Ukrainian staff, under enormous physical and psychological stress, during a visit that is to last several days. Furthermore, his intention is to maintain a permanent IAEA presence to have up-to-date, “reliable, impartial and neutral” information on what is happening at the plant.

The plant was the object of recent bombardments that damaged some of its installations, and the IAEA has been warning for months of the risk of a nuclear disaster.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, director of the IAEA, who heads the mission in Ukraine, speaks to the media before leaving for the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Genya SAVILOV / AFP

Russia accuses Ukraine of trying to take back the plant

The Russian Ministry of Defense has assured that “Ukrainian saboteurs” tried to seize the nuclear power plant this Thursday.

In a statement, the Ministry has stated that 60 Ukrainian soldiers have crossed the Dnieper River in boats at 6 am. The operation, according to the Ministry, was a “provocation” to prevent the IAEA visit. The Ministry has stated that “measures have been taken” to destroy these troops, including the use of aviation.

The authorities established by the Russian occupiers in the city of energize, where the plant is located, reported Russian artillery shelling on Thursday morning. “Three civilians have died and another was injured.“, a spokesman for the administration told the Russian agency Interfax.

Ukraine, for its part, accuses Russia of bombing near the plant and on the route that international experts should follow.

Disconnected a reactor due to bombing

The Ukrainian Energy Agency, Energoatomensures that the reactor number 5 has had to shut down by the bombardments, while number 6 continued to be active and connected to the electrical network.

“It is a demonstration of Russia’s real ‘interest’ in the inspection. It is yet another proof of the real importance of Russian ‘guarantees’ for any intermediary,” Mikhailo Podoliak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, said on social media.

A week ago, the central he had to stop all his activity and for the first time in its history it was disconnected from the general electrical network, causing alarm due to the operation of the refrigeration systems.


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