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Zelensky meets with IAEA head in Kyiv

by Kate Tsurkan June 13, 2023 11:20 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Kyiv on June 13, 2023. (Photo: President's Office)
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The President's Office reported that President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on June 13 in Kyiv to discuss the risks posed to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after the Kakhovka dam disaster.

According to the President's Office, Zelensky commended Grossi's decision to visit the plant in person and inspect the situation on the ground.

Concerns over the nuclear plant have surged after the Kakhovka dam in Kherson Oblast collapsed on June 6, since the plant relies on water from the reservoir to provide power for its turbine condensers. The Ukrainian authorities say the dam was blown up by Russian forces to prevent a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, based in the town of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, has been under Russian occupation since March 2022. Russian forces have used it as a military base to launch attacks on Ukrainian-controlled territory.

In early May, IAEA officials warned that the situation at the plant was "increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous" due to the frequency of shelling nearby.

In the immediate aftermath of the Kakhovka dam's destruction, the IAEA said that there was "no immediate risk" to nuclear safety at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Grossi announced on June 12 that he was going to present an assistance program for the nuclear plant to Zelensky, survey the situation there, and conduct an expert rotation "with a strengthened team."

IAEA experts have been on site monitoring the situation at the nuclear power plant since last fall.

During his meeting with Grossi, Zelensky emphasized that the only way to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plower Plant was its demilitarization, de-occupation, and restoration of Ukrainian control, the President's Office wrote.

Zelensky and Grossi discussed the steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of incidents at the nuclear plant, the President's Office added.

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…

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