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August 4, 2022

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant said to be ‘out of control’

Rafael Grossi has urged the Russian and Ukrainian militaries to allow experts to visit the site to avoid a nuclear accident.

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Rafael Grossi has warned that Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (NPP) is ‘completely out of control’.

In an interview with Associated Press (AP), Grossi said that the situation at the plant was becoming more dangerous every day.

He urged the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces to allow experts to visit the site to stabilise the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.

Grossi said that the expert team would need protection to reach the plant and that the urgent cooperation of Russia and Ukraine was required.

The AP quoted him as saying: “Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated. What is at stake is extremely serious and extremely grave and dangerous.”

In March this year, the Russian military took control of the area around the Zaporizhzhya NPP following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

The nuclear facility is equipped with six nuclear energy reactors and is said to be Europe’s largest NPP.

Grossi added that both the militaries were not respecting the physical integrity of the nuclear facility, with each side accusing the other of the attacks at Zaporizhzhia.

He said that the supply of equipment and spare parts to the nuclear facility had also been interrupted.

Grossi added: “We are not sure the plant is getting all it needs and to ensure the safety of the nuclear material, important inspections are to be conducted.

“When you put this together, you have a catalogue of things that should never be happening in any nuclear facility.

“And this is why I have been insisting from day one that we have to be able to go there to perform this safety and security evaluation, to do the repairs and to assist as we already did in Chernobyl.”

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