IAEA chief visits Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant for safety, security assessment

IAEA chief visits Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant for safety, security assessment

Rafael Grossi 'more convinced than ever' of need to protect plant as fears of a nuclear catastrophe persist amid reports of shelling

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - The head of the UN's atomic energy watchdog on Wednesday paid a visit to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Ukraine.

Director general Rafael Grossi visited the plant to "assess its nuclear safety & security," said a statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Twitter.

"He led a new rotation of ISAMZ (IAEA Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhya), a team of IAEA experts and inspectors providing support and assistance to the plant," it added.

Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest and one of the world’s 10 biggest nuclear power plants, has been under Russian control since March last year, soon after the start of the Ukraine war.

Fears of a nuclear catastrophe persist amid reports of shelling around the area.

In a video published with the IAEA statement, Grossi said he was now "more convinced than ever" that the protection of the plant is "absolutely necessary," adding that he came to this conclusion over the course of his second visit to the plant and seventh visit to Ukraine.​​​​​​​

"I've been able to assess the damage sustained by this facility after the shelling of November 20th and also the problem that occurred after the repeated blackouts," Grossi said, adding that he and the IAEA would work to protect Zaporizhzhia.

Grossi's visit to the plant comes two days after he conducted a visit to the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.​​​​​​​

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