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    IAEA says risk of nuclear accident in Ukraine is its greatest concern


    September 26, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      The IAEA insisted today that the risk of a nuclear accident in Ukraine, where the Zaporizhzhia power plant is a frequent target of attacks, is its main concern, and insisted on the urgency of creating a protection zone around it.

      "Top of our list and our concerns is the situation in Ukraine," warned Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), today at the opening of the UN agency's General Assembly.

      "We have to do everything in our power to avoid a nuclear accident that would add tragedy" to the situation, Grossi said.

      The Argentine diplomat referred specifically to the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the largest in Europe, which has been under occupation by Russian troops since almost the beginning of the Russian attack against Ukraine, at the end of last February.

      Grossi recalled that this facility is "under fire" and warned that if an accident occurs, it will not be possible to blame it on a natural disaster, but on a lack of action.

      "We knew what would have to be done and there is a plan on the table to do it," he said.

      In that regard, Grossi said that last week he was in contact with Russian and Ukrainian authorities, to whom he insisted on the urgency of establishing a nuclear protection and safety zone around Zaporizhzhia.

      "Work there would allow us to stabilize a situation that is simply unacceptable," he said.

      Grossi led a visit to the plant in early September, where a team of two international inspectors has been reporting on the situation at the plant since then.

      In his turn to speak, the chairman of Ukraine's nuclear regulatory authority, Oleh Korikov, accused Russia of being a "nuclear terrorist state" for its invasion of Ukraine and occupation of Zaporizhzhia and other nuclear facilities, such as Chernobyl which was occupied at the beginning of the war but abandoned again in early April in the face of a counteroffensive by Ukrainian troops.

      Russia, for its part, again today accused Ukraine of the attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant.

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