Europe’s largest Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP), located on the territory occupied by Russian troops, “completely got out of control”, the situation there is “very tense”, said in an interview AP agency Director General of the International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on Wednesday 3 August.
“All the principles of nuclear safety were violated at the station. What is at stake is extremely serious and dangerous,” Grossi stressed. The physical integrity of the station was violated, he pointed out, citing shelling at the beginning of the war, when the nuclear power plant was captured by Russian troops.
According to Grossi, a “paradoxical situation” arose at the plant, when the nuclear power plant controlled by Russia, but the Ukrainian staff continues to direct its work, which leads to inevitable tensions. While the IAEA has some contacts with staff, they are “imperfect” and “not uniform,” Grossi said.
IAEA ‘begging’ to let the agency into the station
The head of the IAEA also said that the agency does not have confidence that the nuclear power plant receives everything it needs, since the supply chains of equipment and spare parts have been disrupted.
“In order to prevent a nuclear accident,” the IAEA needs to inspect nuclear power plants to ensure that nuclear material is protected, Grossi urged. “And that’s why I insisted from the very first day that we could go there to spend this safety assessment and protection, to carry out repairs and provide assistance, as we already did in Chernobyl,” he said, calling on Russia and Ukraine to cooperate.
“I plead as an international public servant, as the head of an international organization, I plead with both sides to allow this mission to be carried out,” Grossi said.
Previously in an interview with D.W. The IAEA director called the organization of such a trip in the current conditions a “difficult task.” The reason is that the station is located in a war zone where shelling continues, and the mission must be controlled not only by the UN, but also by Ukraine, since the IAEA considers this country “the only legitimate owner of the nuclear power plant.”