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Reuters: IAEA chief to present agreement on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to UN

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 12, 2023 11:41 PM 2 min read
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Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi will present an agreement to the UN Security Council aimed at protecting the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Reuters reported on May 12.

Citing four unnamed diplomats, Reuters wrote that the agreement is intended to "reduce the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident from military activity," with one diplomat calling it "promising."

Europe's largest nuclear power plant, located in occupied Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, has been held by Russian troops since March 4.

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…

It was fully disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid several times due to regular Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure.

Since Russian forces occupied the plant, they have used it as a military base from which to launch attacks at Ukrainian-controlled territory across the Dnipro River, in particular, Nikopol.

Grossi visited the plant for a second time at the end of March to assess first-hand the safety and security situation at the plant, talk to the engineers operating the facility and guarantee the rotation of IAEA experts to and from the site.

According to Reuters, the agreement will outline "principles" for avoiding the situation at the nuclear plant from getting out of control.

Two diplomats told Reuters that one of the proposed principles was that no military servicemembers were permitted at the plant. However, Russia has tried to argue that their armed officials at the plant "do not meet that definition."

Another principle is that the Ukrainian staff operating the plant should not be attacked. Russian troops have repeatedly used acts of violence and threats to try and forcibly coerce Ukrainian plant employees into cooperation.

Originally, there was supposed to be a "protection zone" around the plant, but "that idea has long been abandoned," Reuters wrote.

Attempting to preserve the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is even more critical with the looming Ukrainian counteroffensive.

There are also doubts about the ability to enforce the principles of the agreement, with one Vienna-based diplomat telling Reuters that they wondered "how anyone is going to enforce or even monitor any of this."

Life on the front line of Russia’s new nuclear brinkmanship
On nights when he hears them, Mykhailo Kling runs to his panoramic ninth-floor balcony in Nikopol to watch Russian rockets being fired at his hometown. “See the reactor buildings there,” he said, pointing across the wide expanse of the Dnipro River at the eerie shapes of the Zaporizhzhia…

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