International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Rafael Grossi warned on Tuesday that the situation at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant has been “totally out of control” since Russian forces seized the facility in March.
“Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated,” Grossi warn. “You have a catalog of things that shouldn’t happen in any nuclear facility.”
Zaporozhye is the largest operating nuclear power plant in Europe. The factory is located in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Enekhodar, seized On March 3, Russian troops set a nearby training facility on fire during a battle.
The list of gruesome misconduct that Grossi mentions is really long.On the one hand, under the leadership of the head of the IAEA, the power plant is still in operation describe As a “contradictory situation”: Russia controls Zaporozhye, but its former Ukrainian crew is still handling operations, and the cooperation between the two groups is not smooth.
Grossi said his agency’s communications with Ukrainian staff were “mistaken” and “incomplete” and there was no guarantee they would receive all the supplies they needed.
In addition, fighting continued around the plant, including an exchange of artillery fire dangerously close to the plant’s six reactors. Ukrainian and U.S. officials have accused Russia of using the facility as a base for attacks on Ukrainian forces, apparently believing that Ukrainians are afraid to fire back at a nuclear power plant.
“There are credible reports, including today’s media reports, that Russia is using the plant as a human shield, but in a sense, it’s a nuclear shield, and it’s firing at the Ukrainians from around the plant, and of course the Ukrainians can’t and will not fight back lest a terrible accident involving a nuclear power plant occur,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said. charged on Monday.
The Russians, in turn, accused Ukraine of deliberately attacking the plant with U.S.-supplied weapons, while Russian troops bravely defended it. Grossi complained that neither Russia nor Ukraine was willing to allow the IAEA to visit the site.
“I’ve insisted from day one that we have to be able to go there to do safety and security assessments, make repairs and provide assistance, as we did in Chernobyl,” he said, alluding to a good reason For distrusting the Russians to manage a dodgy nuclear power plant in a war zone.
“The IAEA needs to go to Zaporozhye as it did to Chernobyl to find out what actually happened there, to carry out repairs and inspections to prevent a nuclear accident,” Grossi Say.
“The presence of the IAEA will act as a deterrent to any violence against the plant. So I implore as an international civil servant, as the head of an international organization, I implore both parties to keep this mission going,” he said. .
more artillery fire is report Thursday in Nikopol, on the Dnieper opposite Zaporozhye. Russian rockets hit 50 residential buildings and destroyed power lines, leaving Nikopol without power.