UN nuclear watchdog chief to visit Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

UN nuclear watchdog chief to visit Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

The UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi will visit the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine next week to assess the serious situation there, he announced on Saturday, March 25. Grossi is pressing for a security zone around what is Europe's largest nuclear power plant with six reactors, which has come under repeated shelling over the past few months.

It will be his second visit. He went there last September and established a permanent presence of IAEA experts.

Russian troops occupied the facility early in their invasion of Ukraine and it remains close to the front line. Both sides blame each other for the shelling.

Grossi said in the statement that the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is still precarious and he wanted to assess first-hand the serious nuclear safety and security situation at the facility. He appealed for the protection zone to be set up, saying he was astonished by the complacency around the issue.

The plant accounted for around 20 per cent of Ukraine's national power generation before the invasion, but it has not produced any electricity since September when the last of its six reactors was taken offline.