Ukraine: IAEA team en route to Zaporizhia

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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Raphael Grossi said he was on his way to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been the target of bombings in recent weeks, raising concerns about the risk of a major accident.

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“The day has come, the IAEA mission to Zaporizhia is now on its way. We must protect the safety of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear plant,” Mr Grossi said on Twitter, clarifying that the team he will personally lead will arrive at the factory “later this week”.

In the photo accompanying his post, the head of the IAEA poses with the group of more than ten workers wearing caps and vests with the organization’s logo.

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Mr Grossi has been asking for months to be allowed to visit the plant, warning there is a “real risk of nuclear disaster”.

The Zaporizhia plant, home to six of Ukraine’s fifteen nuclear reactors, was seized by Russian troops in early March, a few days after the invasion began on February 24, and is located a short distance from the front line in the southern part of country.

Kyiv and Moscow blame each other for shelling of the factory site, near the town of Enerhodar, on the Dnieper River, which endangers the facility.

The Ukrainian company Energoatom, which manages the facility, warned last Saturday against the risk of a radioactive leak and fire after new strikes.

In recent weeks, Zaporizhia has been causing increasing concern in the West, and the UN is calling for an end to all military activity around the facility.

Kyiv initially opposed the IAEA team’s visit, worried it would legitimize Russian occupation of the facility, before eventually supporting the idea.

Faced with the “dangerous” situation at the station, President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday pressed the agency to send a team as soon as possible.

On Thursday and Friday, the plant and its six reactors of 1,000 megawatts each were “completely disconnected” from the national grid due to damage to the cable network, according to Kyiv, before being reconnected.

Vladimir Putin has agreed to organize a visit that will move “through Ukraine”, not from Russian territory, as he had previously claimed, the French presidency said in mid-August, following a telephone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart.

Russia says it shot down armed Ukrainian UAV near Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

Russia’s forces that own the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant announced on Sunday that they had to shoot down an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) belonging to the Ukrainian military.

Its debris fell on the safety cover in a reactor after it was taken down, according to Russian media.

According to reports, it is estimated that the aircraft was sent to hit a spent nuclear fuel storage facility. The ordnance it was carrying exploded without causing injury or damage.

It is impossible to independently verify the information given by the warring parties.


Source: Capital

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