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IAEA: Drone attack reported on Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's training center

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 9, 2024 6:43 PM 3 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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A drone attack allegedly targeted the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's training center adjacent to the site, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on April 9, citing the plant's occupation administration.

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.

The IAEA said on X that the reported explosion at the facility's training center was "consistent with the IAEA team's observations."

"No direct threat to nuclear safety this time, but the latest incident again underlines an extremely serious situation," said the organization's head, Rafael Grossi.

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…

The plant reportedly suffered at least three direct strikes on April 7. After the alleged attacks, Russia claimed Ukraine was responsible. Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) said Ukraine was not involved.

Russia has initiated a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors set to take place on April 11 to discuss alleged attacks on the plant, Reuters reported, citing four unnamed diplomats.

Ukraine's nuclear energy agency Energoatom said on April 9 that Russia "upgraded its propaganda to another level," manipulating the IAEA's perspective and accusing Ukraine of security breaches at the plant.

Energoatom said that the only way to prevent nuclear and radiation emergencies is to comply with the IAEA's resolution, withdraw Russian troops and their equipment from the plant, demining nearby territories, and return control over the plant to the agency.

In March, the U.N. nuclear watchdog's Board of Governors passed a resolution demanding Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Locals near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant brace for potential disaster: ‘It would be the end of us’
Editor’s note: For this story, the Kyiv Independent talked to residents who live in Russian-occupied settlements in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. For their safety, we have changed their names. From the rooftop of his home, Anton can easily see the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant…
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