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    IAEA expected to give first inspection report on threatened Ukraine nuclear plant


    September 6, 2022 - UPI International Top News

     

      United Nations inspectors on Tuesday are expected to give their first report on the safety and integrity of Europe's largest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, which faced more dangers from nearby shelling and being knocked off the main power grid again.

      Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant since last week, checking critical safety systems and assessing damage at the facility.

      Ukraine's main energy utility said that it deliberately took the plant's final nuclear reactor offline so crews could extinguish a fire that had broken out due to fighting near the facility. It was the second time in just two weeks that the plant became entirely disconnected from the main power grid, which forces the plant to use temporary power generators.

      The Zaporizhzhia plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and all of Europe.

      Fighting near the facility continued on Tuesday, heightening danger and concern for the plant. Russian forces have controlled the facility, which is located on the banks of the Dnipro River, since they took control of the city of Zaporizhzhia months ago.

      Meanwhile, Ukraine kept up its counteroffensive in the south on Tuesday as Russian forces maintained attacks in the east. Russia's military also struck an oil depot in central Ukraine, officials said. State-run Russian media also reported Ukrainian attacks in the southern town of Kakhovka along the Dnipro River.

      A Ukrainian policeman inspects debris from a rocket near a recently shelled school in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday. Photo by Sergey Kozlov/EPA-EFE

      Vladimir Leontiev, the Russian-supported head of the local administration, said air defenses shot down most of the Ukrainian missile attacks late Monday and early Tuesday.

      Leontiev said that Ukraine's attacks struck road infrastructure and a hydroelectric power station in the area. Ukrainian airstrikes and shelling attacks targeted a nearby Russian-held bridge to disrupt supply lines.

      Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said that the counteroffensive has expanded to the east and southeast.

      "Since the beginning of the operation to liberate the south of Ukraine, our military has liberated several settlements on the western bank of the Dnieper," Arestovych said according to The Guardian.

      "These are subtle movements on the map. But the beginning of counteroffensive actions on different sectors of the front on our part speaks of a change in the situation as a whole."

      Heavy fire and a Russian missile attack were reported Tuesday at an oil depot in Kryvyi Rih. Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration head Valentyn Reznichenko said firefighters and a fire truck responded to the attack.

      Despite repeated Russian attacks in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials say there has been no change in territorial control.

      The New York Times reported Tuesday that U.S. intelligence said in a newly declassified report that Russia is buying weapons from North Korea due to a shortage of artillery.

      Russia has already received drone equipment from Iran, which reflects the difficulty it faces in strengthening supply chains in light of sanctions from the United States and western Europe.

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