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Denial of access to Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant for Ukrainian specialists does not threaten its safety – IAEA

Rafael Grossi
Rafael Grossi

Currently there is no direct threat to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) due to the Russian ban on Ukrainian specialists’ access to it, said IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in an interview with Reuters on March 12.

“The situation is not sustainable in the long term,” Grossi said.

“At the same time, in the current state, in the conditions of the shutdown, the personnel who are there can do their job.”

When asked about possible security problems related to personnel who were denied access to the station, the IAEA head replied: “No direct(security threats)”.

On March 7, during a meeting, the IAEA Board of Governors voted overwhelmingly in favor of a draft resolution on nuclear safety, security and safeguards, calling for the immediate return of Zaporizhzhya NPP to full Ukrainian control.

Read also: Russia denies IAEA access to reactors of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Seizure of Zaporizhzhya NPP and the threat of detonation

ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Russian troops seized it in March 2022. Employees were subjected to interrogation and torture, and there are reports of deaths.

On June 22, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian troops had mined four power units and a cooler at the Zaporizhzhya NPP and had approved a plan to blow it up. He noted that this could lead to the largest man-made disaster of all time.

In November 2023, the head of HUR, Kyrylo Budanov, said that the “crisis moment” regarding the probability of ZNPP explosion had passed, but the situation remained threatening.

On Jan. 2, 2024, the IAEA reported that the Russians continued to prevent the agency’s experts from entering the reactor halls at Zaporizhzhya NPP.

On Jan. 19, the IAEA said that the Russians had again mined the perimeter of the plant, and that week the plant lost direct backup power to the reactor units for several hours.

Read also: Russia rigs ZNPP reactor buildings with explosives – AFU

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine