Skip to content
Edit post

IAEA chief to visit Zaporizhzhia plant and Kyiv, Moscow to discuss nuclear safety

by Abbey Fenbert January 26, 2024 5:45 AM 2 min read
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi speaks at a press conference during the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on March 6, 2023 in Vienna, Austria. (Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, will visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) as well as Kyiv and Moscow in the coming days, Grossi told reporters after a briefing for the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 25.

The IAEA has rotated staff members at the Zaporizhzhia plant to monitor safety concerns since September 2022, following the nuclear facility's occupation by Russian troops in March.

Grossi addressed the Security Council in a closed session ahead of the emergency meeting on the crash of a Russian Il-76 military plane.

He said he would lead the upcoming 16th rotation of IAEA experts at the ZNPP.

"Most importantly, what I will be doing is I will be talking to the management there, the Russian management of the plant. I will be seeing how the issue of the water is being dealt with," Gross said.

Supplying water to cool the plant's reactors has become a critical concern since Russian forces destroyed the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant on June 6, 2023. The ZNPP relied on water from the nearby Kakhovka Reservoir, which was depleted by the attack. ZNPP personnel are now drilling for water in ground wells around the perimeter of the plant.

"I also need to ascertain the longer-term plans for the plant. Are they going to attempt to restart one or more reactors, and why, and how? These are issues that have profound nuclear safety implications," Grossi said.

After his inspection of the Zaporizhzhia plant, Grossi said he would go to Russia, to engage in a political and technical dialogue with officials there.

Grossi said that the ZNPP's position in Russian-occupied territory on the war's front lines means that the nuclear safety risk is ongoing.

"In this situation, you cannot say that there is a trend, that things are stabilizing somehow, things are improving. I mean, you can have a good week, and then you have a blackout. You can have a good week, and then a drone aims at the plant."

Grossi has previously warned that active fighting near the occupied plant poses serious threats to nuclear safety, and has reported that Russian authorities still deny IAEA experts full access to the plant's units.

The IAEA reported on Jan. 20 that Russia has again laid mines around the perimeter of the plant, raising fresh security concerns.

When asked to rate the danger level at the nuclear plant on a 10-point scale, Grossi said that the risks are in constant flux.

"There are days where you are near 10, and days where nothing seems to happen. And the problem is this — the complete uncertainty, because this is a war."

Forced conscription in occupied Ukraine pushes essential services to brink
In December of last year, the icy showers that rain down on Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Oblast in winter caused the usual damages: falling branches severed power lines, causing electricity, water, and heating outages. Except there were fewer people to do the needed repairs. Russia’s forced mobilizati…

Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:22 AM  (Updated: )

Source: Investigators preparing to charge anti-corruption activist Shabunin.

Shabunin, who joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a volunteer at the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022 and has served since then, denied the accusations and said the cases were fabricated. He believes the cases to be a political vendetta against him by the President's Office, including President Volodymyr Zelensky's deputy chief of staff Oleh Tatarov.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
1:35 AM

CNN: Allies debating what commitment to give Ukraine on NATO membership.

The United States and allies are debating what to commit to Ukraine's NATO membership at the upcoming 75th anniversary summit in Washington, CNN reported on June 19. U.S. officials are reportedly facing criticism from European countries for not willing to go as far as countries closer to Russia would prefer.
10:14 PM

Ukraine restores ferry service with Georgia.

The sea voyage from the city of Chernomorsk in Ukraine's Odesa Oblast to Batumi in Georgia will be the first between the countries since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
8:15 PM

EU, Ukraine finalize text of security deal.

The EU is expected to join 16 countries, including the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, and France, that have signed similar bilateral treaties to help Kyiv repel Russia's aggression.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.