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IAEA: Reports of attempted drone attack just outside Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 18, 2024 10:34 PM 2 min read
A view of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on June 15, 2023. (Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images)
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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on April 18 that it had received a report that the training center of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant had been targeted by an "attempted drone attack," causing no casualties or damage.

The IAEA said its team heard an explosion at 10:35 a.m. local time on April 18, the same the Russian occupying forces at the power plant claimed there had been a drone attack.

This marks the third reported attack in the last weeks on the training facility, which is located just outside the perimeter of the plant, the IAEA said.

"The team was denied access to the training center just outside the ZNPP site perimeter to assess the incident," as the Russian occupying forces cited "security risks," the IAEA said.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, has been under Russian occupation since March 2022. IAEA teams have been based at the facility on rotation since September 2022.

Throughout its occupation, the plant has been repeatedly disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid due to Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure.

Russian troops have also used the plant as a platform to launch strikes at Nikopol, situated just across the Kakhovka Reservoir, and other Ukrainian settlements nearby.

If confirmed, the recent series of reported drone attacks is "an extremely worrying development," IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

The attacks pose a "real threat of a serious nuclear accident, which could have significant health and environmental consequences and benefit absolutely no one," Grossi said.

Ukrainian officials have not yet commented on the report.

IAEA teams have been based at the facility on rotation since September 2022. Russian authorities still deny IAEA inspectors full access to the plant.

IAEA chief warns about ‘major escalation’ amid Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant attacks
The recent attacks on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) marked a “major escalation” in nuclear safety danger in Ukraine, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Rafael Grossi told the IAEA’s Board of Governors on April 11.
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