IAEA director general calls on Board of Governors to ensure Zaporizhzhia NPP safety

IAEA director general calls on Board of Governors to ensure Zaporizhzhia NPP safety

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi has called on the Board of Governors to immediately ensure the safety of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which has lost all off-site power for the sixth time since the beginning of Russian aggression.

He said this in a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on March 9, Ukrinform reports.

Grossi began his speech to the IAEA Board of Governors saying that on Thursday morning the Zaporizhzhia NPP lost connection to the last power transmission line with the Ukrainian power system. According to him, there is enough diesel fuel on site for 15 days of operation.

Read also: Blackout at Zaporizhzhia NPP amid Russian missile strikes

“As a result all 20 of the site’s emergency diesels generators were activated. The site’s essential power is now being provided by eight of those diesels with the rest now in standby mode. And there is enough diesel on site for 15 days of operation. The two out of six units that were in hot shutdown are moving to cold shutdown,” he said.

He stressed that this is the first time the site has lost all power since 23 November 2022 and follows reports of missile strikes across Ukraine overnight. Overall, this is the sixth times that ZNPP is running on emergency diesels – “the last line of defence.”

“This is the sixth time – let me say it again SIXTH time - that ZNPP has lost all off-site power and has had to operate in this emergency mode. Let me remind you – this is the largest nuclear power station in Europe. What are we doing? How can we sit here in this room this morning and allow this to happen? This cannot go on,” Grossi stated.

He added that he is “astonished by the complacency” prevailing among the Board of Governors.

“What are we doing to prevent this happening? We are the IAEA, we are meant to care about nuclear safety. Each time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out. I call on everyone in this room today and elsewhere – We must commit to protect the safety and security of the plant. And we need to commit NOW. What we need is Action,” he stated.

As reported by Ukrinform, on March 9, at 03:53, the last remaining line connecting the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP with the Ukrainian power system was disconnected as a result of Russian missiles attacks.

Photo: D. Calma/IAEA

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