VIENNA, Jul 5 Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have requested additional access to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) sites to confirm the absence of mines, the agency said.
It is noted that the IAEA experts present at the ZNPP have inspected parts of the facility in recent days and weeks – including some sections of the perimeter of the large cooling pond – and also carried out regular walks around the facility, until they found no visible signs of mines or explosives.
“IAEA experts have requested additional access necessary to confirm the absence of mines or explosives at the site,” Rafael Grossi, director general of the agency, is quoted in the message. He clarified that, in particular, access to the roofs of reactor blocks No. 3 and No. 4, as well as access to parts of the turbine halls and some parts of the station's cooling system, is necessary.
Grossi added that it is important that experts check all parts of the Zaporizhzhya NPP to monitor full compliance with the five basic principles of NPP protection, after opposing statements and allegations regarding the military situation on the site have appeared in recent days.
Zaporozhye NPP is located on the left bank of the Dnieper near the town of Energodar. This is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in terms of the number of units and installed capacity – the plant has six power units with a capacity of 1 gigawatt each. In October 2022, the nuclear power plant became the property of the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian military continues to regularly shell Enerhodar and the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant adjacent to the city. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Kiev regime seeks to create the appearance of a threat of a nuclear catastrophe by continuing to purposefully shell the ZNPP. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly stated the need to create a security zone around the ZNPP.
Earlier, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he had received a report from the Intelligence and Security Service of Ukraine, according to which Russia allegedly prepared and is considering a scenario of a terrorist attack with a release of radiation at the ZNPP. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called this statement nonsense. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at a meeting of the Security Council of the organization that Russia hopes that Western patrons of Kyiv will not let him organize a disaster at the ZNPP. He noted that the IAEA mission led by Grossi, who visited the station in June “despite all the obstacles from Ukraine” could be convinced of the absurdity of such statements.