Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, the UN body responsible for overseeing the nuclear energy sector) to visit the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, located in Ukraine in a region occupied by the Russian army. The announcement came on Friday after a phone call between Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the situation in Zaporizhia and concerns that mismanagement of the facility or its involvement in armed clashes could lead to a nuclear accident.
The Zaporizhia power plant in the south of the country is the largest in Europe and the ninth largest in the world, and produced about a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity before the Russian invasion. The Russians captured it at the beginning of the invasion, in the first days of March, after a short but fierce attack during which they bombed some peripheral buildings of the site, which caused major international protests over the risk of a nuclear accident. Since then, the plant has been militarily controlled by the Russian army but managed by Ukrainian technicians who worked there before the invasion.
There has been much talk in recent weeks about the danger of an accident at the plant, due to the bombings that have taken place in the area (of which Russia and Ukraine blame each other) and fears that Russia wants to shut down the plant from the Ukrainian one Netz, with an operation considered very risky.
– Also read: Who is bombing the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant?