Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will come in Kyiv on Tuesday to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, before visiting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
IAEA chief Grossi has warned of the possibility of a nuclear accident at the plant, which he has previously visited twice and where a permanent IAEA team is based, ever since the conflict began.
The Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam, which is located on the Dnipro river and was burst last week in an act that Kyiv attributed to Moscow, creates a reservoir that serves as the cooling water source for the Russian-controlled plant.
The Kakhovka dam accident, which caused at least 10 fatalities and dozens of unaccounted-for cases, “(complicated) an already precarious nuclear safety and security situation at the” plant, the IAEA has said.
“On my way to Ukraine to meet President” Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted Grossi on Monday with a picture of him and his team leaving Vienna where the IAEA headquarters is based.
“I will present a programme of assistance in the aftermath of the catastrophic Nova Kakhovka dam flooding,” Grossi said.
“I will assess the situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” and “conduct a rotation of ISAMZ,” he added referring to the IAEA’s Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhia (ISAMZ), “with a strengthened team”.
Grossi reiterated his desire for complete access to the facility on Sunday so that IAEA experts could gauge the reservoir’s water levels and provide a “independent” assessment.
According to Grossi, they’ll “explain the cause of a significant discrepancy between different measurements of the height of the reservoir that is supplying water to cool the facility’s six reactors and spent fuel storage.”