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IAEA: Previously reported mines remain at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

by Alexander Khrebet September 23, 2023 6:59 PM 2 min read
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi during his visit to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Enerhodar, Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Oblast, on June 15, 2023. (Energoatom/Telegram)
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The monitoring mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has observed previously reported anti-personnel mines at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Rafael Grossi, the agency's director general, said in a statement on Sept. 23.

The IAEA experts continued to conduct walkdowns of the biggest nuclear plant in Europe this week.

"The team did not observe any heavy weapons during their walkdowns but confirmed that the previously reported mines remain in place," the statement reads.

Ukraine's military intelligence agency reported in early July that Russian forces planted remotely controlled and uncontrolled anti-personnel mines in technical and machine rooms of the Zaporizhzhia plant. Shortly after, military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that the danger of a possible Russian terrorist attack at the plant "was diminishing."

According to the recent report by the IAEA, its experts also observed that two of the plant's units remain in cold shutdown and one in hot shutdown.

Grossi also said that the plant has completed the drilling of 10 groundwater wells, "bringing the plant close to having a longer-term solution for the provision of cooling water to the shutdown reactors after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in June."

The IAEA representatives also reported hearing "numerous explosions some distance away."

Located in Russian-occupied Enerhodar city, the plant has been under Russian control since the initial phase of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in March last year. Russian forces have been using the nuclear power plant as a military base to launch attacks against Ukrainian-controlled territory.

On the edge of disaster: What could really happen if Russia destroys Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
In late June, 16 months into the full-scale Russian invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky alerted his nation of an unprecedented threat. Russia, the president said, had rigged the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with explosives, and was ready to set off the charges and cause radiation to…
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