According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is under constant fire, is currently not a safety risk. “IAEA experts have preliminarily determined that there is no imminent threat to security as a result of the bombing or other military actions. However, that could change at any time,” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told an emergency UN Security Council meeting in New York.
Just hours before the session of the most powerful UN body requested by Russia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant was attacked again. Zaporizhia was attacked with heavy artillery and rocket launchers, a representative of the Russian occupation authorities, Vladimir Rogov, told the Telegram news channel. Shots are fired from cities under Ukrainian control. Ukrainian company Enerhoatom reported ten impacts nearby. The information could not be verified. Previously, Ukraine accused Russia of attacking the nuclear power plant.
Experts should get a picture of the situation
Before the Security Council, Grossi asked Moscow and Kyiv to quickly allow international experts to visit. “Personally, I am ready to lead such a mission.” Important facts could not be gathered without the physical presence of representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The United States has also pushed for an expert trip: “This visit can’t wait any longer,” said US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Bonnie Jenkins.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Wassili Nebensya promised Moscow’s cooperation: “We are ready to provide all the support we can in resolving organizational issues.” A visit should ideally take place in August. After the meeting, Nebensia stressed that no country in the 15-member Security Council blamed Russia for the bombing of the nuclear plant.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres had previously warned of a new nuclear catastrophe and expressed his deep concern: “Unfortunately, there has been no de-escalation in recent days, but reports of other deeply worrying incidents. If this continues, it could lead to disaster.” .” He appealed to both parties to the conflict to stop military activities immediately. The worst nuclear accident on European soil took place at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in 1986. The Russian war against the neighboring country has lasted more than five and a half months.
UN Spokesperson: “Nuclear plant in the middle of a battlefield”
It was unclear whether a group of UN experts could be sent to the nuclear plant. “We are talking about a nuclear power plant in the middle of a battlefield,” said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. This raises huge security concerns for United Nations officials.
According to operator Enerhoatom, the situation at the plant is “under control”. Radioactivity is not higher than normal. The nuclear plant had already been hit and damaged by rockets over the weekend. Ukraine accuses Russian troops of using the nuclear plant as a stronghold for attacks. Pro-Russian separatists, meanwhile, accuse Ukraine of wanting to persuade the West to intervene by bombing the plant. Rogov rejected requests from the group of seven major industrialized nations (G7) – including Germany – to return the plant to Ukrainian control. “It would be like putting a hand grenade in a monkey’s hand,” he wrote.