UN watchdog observes mines near Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

UN watchdog observes mines near Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Such explosives on site is inconsistent with IAEA safety standards, nuclear security guidance, says director general

By Betul Yuruk

NEW YORK (AA) - Experts from the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), observed mines on the periphery of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Director General Rafael Grossi said Monday.

Europe's biggest nuclear power plant has been under Russian military and operational control since March 4, 2022, roughly two weeks after it launched its offensive against Ukraine.

A team from the IAEA saw mines located in a buffer zone between the site’s internal and external perimeter barriers during a walkdown on July 23, Grossi said in a statement.

The team did not observe any within the inner site perimeter during the walkdown, he said.

''Having such explosives on the site is inconsistent with IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance and creates additional psychological pressure on plant staff, – even if the IAEA’s initial assessment based on its own observations and the plant’s clarifications is that any detonation of these mines should not affect the site’s nuclear safety and security systems,'' Grossi added.

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