According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, which is under constant fire, is currently not a security risk. “IAEA experts have provisionally determined that there is no imminent security threat as a result of the shelling or other military action. However, this can change at any time,” said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi on Thursday at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
Just a few hours before the session of the most powerful UN body requested by Russia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant came under fire again. Zaporizhia was attacked with heavy artillery and rocket launchers, a representative of the Russian occupation authorities, Vladimir Rogov, said on Thursday in the Telegram news channel. Shots are fired from towns under Ukrainian control. The Ukrainian company Enerhoatom reported a total of ten impacts in the vicinity. The information could not be verified. Earlier, Ukraine had accused Russia of targeting the nuclear power plant.
Before the Security Council, Grossi called on Moscow and Kyiv to quickly allow international experts to visit. “Personally, I am ready to lead such a mission.” Without the physical presence of representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency, important facts could not be gathered. UN Secretary-General António Guterres had previously warned of a new nuclear catastrophe and expressed his deep concern. It was unclear whether a group of UN experts could be sent to the nuclear power plant. “We are talking about a nuclear power plant in the middle of a battlefield,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Thursday. This raises enormous security concerns for United Nations employees.
According to the operator Enerhoatom, the situation in the power plant is “under control”. The radioactivity is not higher than usual. The nuclear power plant had already been fired at and damaged by rockets over the weekend. Ukraine accuses Russian troops of using the nuclear power plant as a fortress for attacks. The pro-Russian separatists, in turn, accuse Ukraine of wanting to persuade the West to intervene by shelling the power plant. Rogov rejected calls by the group of seven leading industrialized nations (G7) – including Germany – to return the power plant to Ukrainian control. “It would be like putting a hand grenade in a monkey’s hand,” he wrote.