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Russian media: IAEA chief to visit Moscow over Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant situation

by Martin Fornusek June 16, 2023 11:54 PM 2 min read
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Rafael Grossi (C) talks to the press with Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko (L) and the Head of Ukraine's Energoatom Petro Kotin on a road outside Zaporizhzhia, on Sept. 1, 2022. (Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
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The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi is expected to visit Moscow in the following week, the news agency Interfax said citing Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom.

The reported Russia visit will follow Grossi's mission to Ukraine to assess the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Concerns over the plant have surged after the Kakhovka dam breach on June 6, as the plant relies on water from the Kakhovka Reservoir to provide power for its turbine condensers.

Ukrainian authorities say the dam was blown up by Russian forces to prevent a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the area.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, based in the town of Enerhodar in 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.

Grossi met with President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the situation at the plant on June 13.

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.

On June 15, Grossi arrived at the Zaporizhzhia plant to inspect the situation on the ground and 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.

Stephen Zhao: Tepid response to Kakhovka dam explosion paves way for nuclear disaster
On the morning of June 6 at around 2:50 a.m., an explosion erupts at the center of the Kakhovka dam, leading to its destruction and the flooding of much of Kherson Oblast. Having been mined by Russia over the course of last year and timed exactly to disrupt
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