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IAEA head to meet Zelensky, discuss impact of Kakhovka dam disaster

by Kate Tsurkan June 12, 2023 7:14 PM 2 min read
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi speaks at a press conference during the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on March 06, 2023 in Vienna, Austria. (Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
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Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on June 12 that he was on his way to visit President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine to present an assistance program for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Concerns over the nuclear plant have surged after the Kakhovka dam in Kherson Oblast collapsed on June 6, since the plant relies on water from the reservoir to provide power for its turbine condensers. The Ukrainian authorities say the dam was blown up by Russian forces to prevent a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

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.

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.

In the immediate aftermath of the Kakhovka dam's destruction, the IAEA said that there was "no immediate risk" to nuclear safety at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

According to Grossi, he will present an assistance program for the nuclear plant, survey the situation there, and conduct an expert rotation "with a strengthened team."

IAEA experts have been on site monitoring the situation at the nuclear power plant since last fall.

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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