The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, will brief the United Nations Security Council on Thursday about the nuclear safety and security situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and his efforts to agree and lead an IAEA expert mission to the site as soon as possible.
The meeting, scheduled to start at 3pm EST (9 pm CET), takes place a few days after shelling at the ZNPP sparked widespread alarm about the potential risk of a severe nuclear accident at Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which has six reactors.
The United Nations invited Director General Grossi to address the 15-nation Security Council via video link. The meeting will be open for media.
'I welcome this opportunity to inform the United Nations Security Council about the extremely serious situation facing one of the world's biggest nuclear power plants, now located in the middle of an active war zone. An accident at this plant could threaten public health and the environment both in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, as well as further away,' he said.
The Director General will provide details on how the shelling on Friday and Saturday breached virtually all the seven indispensable nuclear safety and security pillars that he outlined at the beginning of the conflict almost half a year ago, including those related to a nuclear power plant's physical integrity, functioning safety and security systems, staff and external power supplies.
'I will also brief the Security Council about my plans and preparations to personally lead an IAEA mission to the site in the very near future. Now more than ever, the IAEA's presence at the plant is of paramount importance to help reduce the danger of a possible nuclear disaster there,' he added.
The mission would carry out essential safety, security and safeguards activities at the ZNPP, which is occupied by Russia but continues to be operated by its Ukrainian staff. It would also provide impartial and independent information about the status of the facility.
Director General Grossi reiterated that the mission would require the cooperation, understanding and facilitation of both Ukraine and Russia, as well as the continued support of the United Nations and Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
According to Ukraine, last week's shelling at the ZNPP caused some damage at the plant, including to its external power supply system, and one reactor was disconnected from the grid. But there was no damage to the reactors themselves and available radiation measurements have continued to show normal levels at the site.
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