UN Security Council Discusses Threat to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Aug. 12, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council met at the call of Russia, yesterday, to take up the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by the forces of the Kiev regime. During the session, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed the creation of a demilitarized zone around the plant “to ensure the safety of the area,” reported Reuters, a proposal that was endorsed by the Kiev regime and the U.S., while Russia called on Kiev to stop shelling the plant. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy demanded that full control of the plant be returned to Kiev, a demand supported by France. “Only a full withdrawal of the Russians ... and the restoration of full Ukrainian control of the situation around the station can guarantee a resumption of nuclear security for all of Europe,” he said in a video address.
IAEA director general Rafael Grossi, in a statement to the council, stressed the need for an IAEA inspection of the plant. The IAEA’s presence at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine would allow the organization to carry out important technical activities in nuclear safety, security and safeguards and at the same time provide a stabilizing influence, Grossi said, according to an IAEA release. “Based on the most recent information provided by Ukraine, IAEA experts have preliminarily assessed that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety as a result of the shelling or other recent military actions. However, this could change at any moment,” he said via video link. “I ask that both sides of this armed conflict cooperate with the IAEA and allow for a mission to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as soon as possible. Time is of the essence.”
Russia “repeatedly warned our Western colleagues that if they do not call the Kiev regime to reason, it will go for the most atrocious and reckless actions that will have implications far beyond the Ukrainian borders,” Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told the UNSC, speaking after Grossi’s address. “Unfortunately, this is what we see happening now. Heinous attacks by Kiev against nuclear facilities push the world onto the brink of a nuclear disaster, the scope of which would be comparable to that of the Chernobyl tragedy.” Ukrainian artillery attacks on the plant “pose a direct threat to safety and security of the plant.”
Nebenzia particularly highlighted attacks on the storage of radioactive waste in bunkers at the plant. “So far, Kiev has not been able to hit them and inflict any serious damage. At this moment, radiation levels at the ZNPP are normal,” he said. “But if the shelling persists, changes to those levels will only be a matter of time. We regularly send letters of information to the IAEA Secretariat which detail the situation and these incidents.”