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Energoatom: UN nuclear chief starts his visit to Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 15, 2023 12:59 PM 2 min read
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi during his visit to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Enerhodar, Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Oblast, on June 15, 2023. (Energoatom/Telegram)
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Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has arrived at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine's state nuclear energy agency Energoatom reported on June 15.

Grossi came to inspect the situation on the ground after Russia's destruction of the Kakhovka dam posed new risks for the nuclear plant, which relies on water from the reservoir to provide power for its turbine condensers.

The IAEA chief is also expected to conduct an expert rotation at the plant "with a strengthened team." IAEA experts have been on site monitoring the situation at the nuclear power plant since last fall.

On June 13, Grossi met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, presenting him with an assistance program for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

The IAEA head told Zelensky that he was "very concerned" that the plant could be caught up in Ukraine's counteroffensive, which is now underway. Ukraine's president responded that the only way to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhia plant was its demilitarization, de-occupation, and restoration of Ukrainian control.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, based in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, has been under Russian occupation since March 2022. Russian forces have used it as a military base to launch attacks on Ukrainian-controlled territory.

In early May, IAEA officials warned that the situation at the plant was "increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous" due to the frequency of shelling nearby.

Life near Russian-occupied nuclear plant: ‘I don’t know if tomorrow will come’
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent talked to residents who are still in Russian-occupied Enerhodar and those who recently left but still have family in the city. For their safety, we do not disclose their identities. When Russian soldiers captured Enerhodar, the satellite city of the Zaporizhzhia…
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