IAEA warns against any action at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

IAEA warns against any action at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

The IAEA experts believe that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety, but that could change at any moment, Grossi said.

He said that any military action jeopardizing nuclear safety, nuclear security, must stop immediately. Military actions near a large nuclear facility could lead to very serious consequences. The Zaporizhzhia facility - the largest nuclear plant in Europe - occupies an extensive site on the Dnipro River near the Russian-occupied city of Enerhodar. Ukrainian technicians are still at work, as Russian forces captured it early in March, and it continues to operate at reduced capacity.

Russia and Ukraine have so far refused to agree to an IAEA inspection of the plant, and have accused each other of shelling the facility. The IAEA has said it breaches the essential nuclear safety and security pillars. Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia blamed Ukraine for the shelling and urged Kyiv's supporters to stop attacks and prevent a disastrous radiation leak. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pointed the finger at Moscow, which he said was putting all of Europe in danger. The complete withdrawal of Russians from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and the restoration of Ukraine's full control over the situation around the plant will guarantee the restoration of nuclear safety for all of Europe, Zelensky said. Ukraine's nuclear agency, Energoatom, said 10 shells landed near the complex on Thursday, preventing a shift handover. The buses with the personnel of the next shift were turned back to Enerhodar for the safety of nuclear workers, the agency said. Until the situation normalizes, the workers of the previous shift will continue to work. The radiation levels at the site remained normal despite renewed attacks, according to Energoatom. Several Western and Ukrainian officials believe that Russia is using the giant nuclear facility as a stronghold to shield their troops and mount attacks because they believe Kyiv will not return fire and risk a crisis. Soldiers fighting Russians have a new weapon, see what it can do. See what it can do to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, accused Moscow of using the plant to shield its forces, while Britain's Defense Ministry said in a recent security assessment that Russia's actions at the complex sabotages the safety of its operations. In late July, the Ukrainian mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, said Russian forces had been observed using heavy weaponry near the plant because they know that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will not respond to these attacks, as they can damage the nuclear power plant. The US backed Ukraine's call for a demilitarized zone around the facility, while at the UN, Bonnie Jenkins, US undersecretary for arms control and international affairs, said Russia is responsible for the nuclear risks at the plant. She warned the UN Security CouncilUN Security Council that the many consequences of this conflict, including the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, will only end when Russia ends its war. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who previously called shelling at the plant suicidal, said in a statement he was gravely concerned. He said that any damage to Zaporizhzhia or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, or anywhere else, could lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but also for the region and beyond.