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IAEA head visits Kyiv, says accident at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant 'very possible'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk October 6, 2022 7:12 PM 2 min read
A Russian soldier stands in front of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Russian-occupied Enerhodar on Sept. 11, 2022. (Getty Images)
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Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited Kyiv again on Oct. 6 in an attempt to prevent a nuclear disaster at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Grossi said he's going to Russia "soon."

According to Grossi, the IAEA mission at the plant will increase from two to four people, who will rotate every 3-4 weeks. Director General added that the situation remains dangerous as the territory around the Russian-occupied plant is mined, and the Ukrainian staff kept hostage at the plant is "under severe pressure."

A nuclear accident remains "very possible," Grossi added.

"Ukrainian staff operating the plant under Russian military occupation are under constant high stress and pressure, especially with the limited staff available," an IAEA report published on Sept. 6 said. "This is not sustainable and could lead to increased human error with implications for nuclear safety."

On Oct. 5, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree making an illegal order to transfer Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Russian-occupied Enerhodar into Russian property.

Ukraine's state nuclear monopoly Energoatom told Suspilne media outlet that the document "has no practical significance." Russian soldiers captured the Zaporizhzhia plant in early March. Since then, Russia has been shelling Ukrainian positions from the plant, being accused of using it as a shield and a tool of blackmail.

Grossi pointed out that according to international law, the plant belongs to Ukraine, and Russia's hostile takeover of the plant is null and void. Grossi added that he's planning to visit the plant during his next visit to Ukraine.

Life near Russian-occupied nuclear plant: ‘I don’t know if tomorrow will come’
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