IAEA chief to visit Ukraine nuclear plant

The head of the United Nations’ atomic watchdog agency, Rafael Grossi, is scheduled to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Wednesday.

The facility is currently under the control of Russian forces, and there are ongoing concerns about its safety due to its location in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, which has frequently come under attack since Russian troops invaded.

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According to an official from Russia’s nuclear operator Rosenergoatom, Grossi and his delegation are expected to arrive in the morning and depart later in the afternoon.

The upcoming visit to Zaporizhzhia by Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will be his second since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Grossi plans to personally evaluate the nuclear safety and security situation at the plant, which is currently under the control of Russian forces.

The IAEA has had a team of experts stationed at the facility since September 2022, but Grossi has stated that the situation remains precarious. During a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, Grossi was told that it is not possible to restore safety at the nuclear plant as long as Russia maintains control of the facility.

“Without the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and personnel from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and adjacent territory, any initiatives to restore nuclear safety and security are doomed to failure,” Zelensky told Grossi.

The plant needs reliable electricity supply to ensure essential nuclear safety and security functions.

But it has suffered repeated electricity outages during the war, causing alarm in the IAEA and the international community.

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