IAEA mission determined to reach Ukrainian NPP despite delays – spokesperson

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Ukraine said a UN team on its way to inspect the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was stuck at a checkpoint some 20 kilometers from the city on Thursday. the front line, after reports of new bombings earlier in the day.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, remained determined to reach Europe’s biggest nuclear power station on Thursday, despite hours of delay, a spokesman told Reuters.

The Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom told Reuters the convoy was waiting at a Ukrainian checkpoint for the situation near the plant to be safe before continuing.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was occupied by Russia in March, has come under frequent bombardment over the past month, with kyiv and Moscow trading blame for the attacks and fueling fears of a radiological catastrophe.

The IAEA spokesman told Reuters around 12:00 local time (0900 GMT) that the mission, led by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, had been delayed on the Ukrainian-controlled side for three hours.

“Director General Grossi has personally negotiated with the Ukrainian military authorities in order to proceed and remains determined that this important mission will arrive at the (Zaporijia plant) today,” the spokesman said.

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