IAEA concerned about shelling near Zaporizhzhia NPP

IAEA concerned about shelling near Zaporizhzhia NPP

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has expressed concern over renewed artillery shelling near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and the temporary loss of its only remaining back-up power line.

He said this in a statement posted on the website of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday, February 28, Ukrinform reports.

"The IAEA experts who have now been at the ZNPP since early January reported to headquarters that around 20 'detonations' could be heard yesterday afternoon, apparently in the vicinity of the plant, which is located on the frontline of an active combat area," the statement said.

It also added that over the past few weeks there has been an increasing security presence on the site.

"This is a concerning trend that shows the urgency and importance of establishing a nuclear safety and security protection zone at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant," Grossi said.

He emphasized that he is continuing his diplomatic efforts with the aim of the fastest possible agreement and implementation of this zone, stressing that he was continuing his diplomatic efforts to agree and implement the zone as soon as possible.

The plant's 330 kilovolt (kV) back-up power line was disconnected early on Saturday following the sound of military activity further away, then briefly restored, but lost again the same morning, the IAEA team also said. The disconnection occurred some distance away from the plant on the other side of the Dnipro River. The power line was re-connected on Sunday afternoon.

Grossi also expressed concern about continued delays in the rotation of the team of IAEA experts currently at the site of Europe's largest nuclear power plant (NPP), who should have been replaced by a new team more than three weeks ago.

On a more re-assuring note, Grossi said the water level in the main reservoir forming part of the Dnipro River, which provides cooling water for the ZNPP, had stabilized in recent weeks following the previously reported reduction in the amount of water held by the Kakhovka dam.

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