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UN nuclear chief delays visit to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant over security concerns

by Rachel Amran June 15, 2023 3:56 AM 1 min read
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Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi postponed a trip to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant on June 14 due to security concerns.

According to Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, the visit could happen in the next few days, but that safety around the plant remains an issue.

"Grossi is in Ukraine. The issue of his visit to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant should be resolved in the next few days," Halushchenko was quoted as saying by the Interfax Ukraine news agency. "I cannot assess the situation - there are hostilities going on and the military is assessing the situation."

The IAEA needs to access the site near the Zaporizhzhia plant to check water levels after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam caused the plant's nearby reservoir to lose much of its water.

On Tuesday, Grossi said in Kyiv during a visit with President Volodymyr Zelensky that he was "very concerned" that the plant could be caught up in a Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territory.

The Ukrainian leader stated that demilitarization, liberation, and restoration of Ukrainian control are crucial to ensuring the safety of the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Within the last few weeks, Western media had reported that Ukraine  launched its long-awaited counteroffensive in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, possibly raising concerns about the protection of the nuclear plant.  

Defense Ministry: Despite heavy battles, Ukraine advances confidently
Russian troops have increased their attacks and densely mined the fields to stop Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive, but Ukrainian forces are “advancing confidently,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian TV on June 14.
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