Potential disaster at Zaporozhye facility must be prevented, says international watchdog chief
The situation around Russia’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, located close to the front line in Ukraine, is becoming more dangerous, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi warned on Saturday. The statement came as Kiev prepared to launch a counteroffensive and authorities in the Zaporozhye region began a partial evacuation of cities close to the conflict zone.
In a statement on the IAEA website, Grossi said the situation in the area near the facility was “It’s becoming increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous.”
“I am very concerned about the very real nuclear safety and security risks to the plant. We must act now to prevent the threat of a severe nuclear accident and its associated consequences for the population and the environment,” He added that he urged protection of Europe’s largest nuclear facility.
Grossi said the International Atomic Energy Agency team that oversees the plant is monitoring the evacuation announced Friday from the nearby city of Enagodal. Acting Governor Evgeny Balitsky said children, the elderly, hospital patients and other vulnerable groups would be relocated due to the outbreak. “Increased shelling” by the Ukrainian army.
All reactors have been shut down, the plant’s director, Yury Chernichuk, said Friday. “Do whatever it takes to ensure nuclear safety.”
Energodar Mayor Eduard Senovoz said the relocation is on track and there are “Not panicked” in the city.
After Moscow launched a military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the ZNPP came under Russian control. The Zaporozhye region became part of Russia following a referendum in September.
Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of shelling the plant and expressed concern that the other’s actions could spark a nuclear catastrophe. Last month, The Times reported that Ukrainian forces had tried unsuccessfully to retake the ZNPP in October 2022. Kyiv has yet to confirm the attempt.
On Friday, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said its agents had arrested Ukrainian agents who allegedly planned to kill an unnamed senior ZNPP official.Ukraine alone does not have the capacity to do this, Renat Karchaa, a senior adviser to Russia’s state nuclear power plant operator Rosenergoatom, told RT “terrorist” plot.he thinks “The scenarios and targets are chosen by their Western partners.”
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