Nuclear disaster possible: IAEA director general requests access to Zaporizhzhia NPP

Nuclear disaster possible: IAEA director general requests access to Zaporizhzhia NPP

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi condemned the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and confirmed his readiness to arrive at the plant leading the agency's expert mission.

“For the last four months now, I have been ready to lead a mission of IAEA safety, security and safeguards experts to the country’s biggest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia. This mission would play a crucial role in helping to stabilise the nuclear safety and security situation there, as we have at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and elsewhere in Ukraine in recent months where we have also delivered nuclear safety and security equipment that is urgently needed,” reads the statement by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi posted on the agency’s website.

He added that the IAEA safeguards inspectors would conduct essential verification activities at the plant and would provide impartial and independent information about the status of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

Read also: Russians mine Zaporizhzhia NPP power units, Ukrainian intelligence confirms

“That this vital mission has not yet happened is not because of the IAEA. Despite our determined efforts, it has not been possible, so far. I will not give up. I will continue to push – and push again – for this IAEA mission to finally take place. But this will need the cooperation, understanding and facilitation from both Ukraine and Russia,” the IAEA Director General noted.

According to him, the United Nations’ support will also be needed to send a mission.

Read also: Russia wants to cut Zaporizhzhia NPP off from Ukraine’s energy system, black south out

“We can’t afford to lose any more time. For the sake of protecting people in Ukraine and elsewhere from a potential nuclear accident, we must all set aside our differences and act, now. The IAEA is ready,” Grossi stressed.

He expressed concern by the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP yesterday, which “underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond.” “Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs. Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” the IAEA Director General noted.

Read also: Zaporizhia NPP: Europe now facing nuclear disaster as Russia opts for new plot

He also condemned any violent acts carried out at or near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and against its staff. “The Ukrainian staff operating the plant under Russian occupation must be able to carry out their important duties without threats or pressure undermining not only their own safety but also that of the facility itself,” Grossi stated.

As reported, on August 5, Russian invaders shelled the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP – three strikes near the industrial site were recorded.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, commenting on the situation at the ZNPP, said that "any shelling of nuclear facilities is an audacious act of terror."

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