IAEA releases report on Zaporizhia nuclear power plant
This Tuesday, September 6 is an important day to understand the situation at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, occupied by Russian forces.
“On Tuesday, Rafael Grossi will publish a report on the situation in terms of safety, security and guarantees in Ukraine including in particular the findings of his mission to Zaporizhia and he will report to the UN Security Council on the mission carried out at the plant” , tweeted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday evening, referring to its director general.
Its publication comes the day after the disconnection of the last reactor in operation at the plant, located in the south of the country. This line, connected to a neighboring thermal power plant, “was deliberately disconnected in order to extinguish a fire”, explained the IAEA in a press release. But “it was not damaged”, and it should be reconnected as soon as possible.
According to the Ukrainian operator Energoatom, the fire “started because of the bombardments”. The site of Europe’s largest power plant has been bombed several times, raising fears of a nuclear disaster. For several weeks, Russians and Ukrainians have accused each other of these bombardments.
After much negotiation, a delegation from the UN agency was able to visit the site of this plant on Thursday, which has six reactors with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts each and which fell into the hands of Russian troops in March, shortly after the launch of the invasion of Ukraine. Following an inspection with his team, Mr. Grossi told the press that he had found that the “physical integrity” of the plant had been “violated on several occasions”. It is “something that cannot continue to happen,” he added, without naming the responsible party.
The next day, kyiv explained that it had struck a Russian base in Energodar, a town neighboring the power plant, from where it accuses Russia of having withdrawn its armaments before its inspection by the delegation of the UN agency.
Most of the IAEA team left the plant on Friday. Of the six experts who remained on site, four left on Monday morning and two others are expected to stay there permanently.
On the diplomatic side, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, his mediation on Saturday. Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed on Monday “the imperative need to preserve the safety” of nuclear installations in Ukraine, during an interview with Mr. Zelensky, according to the French presidency.