IAEA mission must end Russian occupation of nuclear plant, says Ukraine

Share your love

Ukraine’s state nuclear power chief said on Monday it was vital that a UN inspectors’ mission to the Zaporizhia plant end Russia’s occupation of the facility and called for new missions to the place, including by UN peacekeepers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is preparing a report after its inspectors crossed the front line last week to reach the endangered facility, which Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of bombing, at the risk of a nuclear catastrophe.

Two IAEA experts will stay indefinitely at the facility in southern Ukraine – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – which was captured by Russian soldiers in early March, shortly after their invasion.

In an interview, Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom, told Reuters the permanent mission was a “good” step. However, that the “root of the problem” remained the control of the Russian soldiers on the spot.

He called the situation at the plant “very dangerous” and unprecedented due to the deterioration of power lines connecting the facility to the Ukrainian grid, and said kyiv hoped to hear more than expressions of concern from the IAEA.

“This is a peculiar situation. All the experts and (IAEA chief Rafael) Grossi himself understand that (…) what needs to be done is unemployment. However, they cannot propose it directly due to the limitation of the mandate. Kotin said.

The IAEA has described its mission as technical in nature.

A few hours after Kotin spoke at his kyiv office, Energoatom said the plant’s sixth and last operating reactor had been disconnected from its grid due to what it said was Russian bombing. There was no immediate response from Moscow.

Read Also   Pope Francis appointed Martín Guzmán as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Kotin said it would be very dangerous for Ukraine to spend this winter without the facility, which supplied more than a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity needs before the war. “If we don’t have the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, it will be a dangerous winter. We need it,” he said.

Ukraine has three other smaller nuclear power plants.

Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *