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IAEA: Increased military activity observed near Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

by Abbey Fenbert September 9, 2023 4:44 AM 1 min read
IAEA inspectors at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant on June 15, 2023. 
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Signs of "increased military activity" in the areas around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant pose a possible danger to nuclear security at the site, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wrote in its Sept. 8 report.

"I remain deeply concerned about the possible dangers facing the plant at this time of heightened military tension in the region,” Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Agency experts at the plant reported hearing a series of explosions over the past week, pointing to increased military engagement in the area.

Staff at the plant also told IAEA team members that the nearby city of Enerhodar was hit by drone strikes on the morning of Sept. 7.

The IAEA workers were also notified that the ZNPP had reduced on-site personnel to "minimum levels" for a temporary period due to concerns over intensified military activity.

“Whatever happens in a conflict zone wherever it may be, everybody would stand to lose from a nuclear accident, and I urge that all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid it happening,” Grossi said.

The report also said that IAEA observers noted that mines continued to be located near the perimeter of the plant. While they did not observe new mines, the report said the IAEA team has still not been granted full access to the rooftops of reactors  1, 2, 5 and 6.

IAEA experts also conducted inspections at the Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, and South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plants this week. No safety issues were reported at the sites.

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