IAEA Director Warns Zaporijia Nuclear Power Plant Is Out of Control
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The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned on Wednesday that Europe's largest nuclear power plant, located in Ukraine, "is completely out of control" and called on Russia and Ukraine to allow an urgent visit to avoid an accident.
According to Rafael Grossi in statements to the Associated Press news agency, the situation is at the Zaporijia plant, in southeastern Ukraine and controlled by the Russians since March, is getting more dangerous every day.
"All nuclear safety principles have been violated" at the plant, he warned, adding that "what is at stake is extremely serious and extremely dangerous."
Read also Director General of the UN nuclear agency is in Ukraine Therefore, the director general of the UN agency called on Russia and Ukraine to urgently allow a visit by experts to the complex in order to stabilize the situation and prevent a nuclear accident.
He said the physical integrity of the nuclear plant has not been respected, and it was bombed at the beginning of the war, when it was taken over by the Russian military, with the two countries accusing each other of attacks on the region.
There is "a paradoxical situation" where the plant is controlled by Russia, but it is the cranial officials who continue to run the nuclear operations, leading to inevitable moments of friction and alleged violence, he said.
Read Also What do we already know about the attack on Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant? Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has some contacts with officials, information is "few and irregular," he advanced.
Grossi also warned that the supply of equipment and spare parts has been interrupted, "so there is no certainty that the plant is receiving everything it needs."
The IAEA has to carry out urgent inspections to ensure that the nuclear material is being protected, "and there is a lot of nuclear material to be inspected," Rafael Grossi stressed, explaining that he has insisted from day one on the need "to go there to carry out that safety and security assessment, make whatever repairs are needed, and help, as happened in Chernobyl."
The Russian conquest of Zaporijia has renewed fears that the largest of Ukraine's 15 nuclear reactors could be damaged, triggering another emergency like the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the world's worst nuclear disaster, which happened about 110 kilometers north of the Ukrainian capital.
Russian forces occupied the heavily contaminated site soon after the invasion, which began on February 24, but returned control to the Ukrainians in late March.
Grossi visited Chernobyl on April 27 and announced in a message posted on the social network Twitter that the safety level was "like a 'red light' flashing."
However, he assured on Tuesday that the IAEA at the time mounted "an assistance mission" in Chernobyl "that has been very, very successful."
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