IAEA Team Arrives at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Sept. 1, 2022 (EIRNS)—The team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), led by Director General Rafael Grossi, arrived at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), today, after a road trip from the city of Zaporizhzhia, where they spent the night. Before leaving their hotel, Grossi had said the mission was aware of “increased military activity in the area,” which is controlled by Russian forces, but was pressing ahead with its plan to visit the facility and meet staff. “Having come so far, we are not stopping,” he said.
The civil-military administration of Enerhodar city told TASS that the IAEA delegation had begun its inspection of the plant, accompanied by Rosatom employees. The press service also said that security measures had been beefed up in Enerhodar and that “the shelling had become less intense during the mission’s visit, but the shelling has not ceased.”
Indeed, there was a great deal of military activity in the hours prior to the team’s arrival at the nuclear plant. According to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry today, two Ukrainian sabotage groups landed about 3 km on the Dnieper River upstream from the plant at about 6 a.m. in an attempt to seize it. “Measures were taken to destroy the enemy, including the use of army aviation,” the statement said. There has also been shelling of the plant, with four shells landing within 400 meters of Unit One. “The Kiev regime’s provocation is aimed at disrupting the arrival of IAEA working group at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”
“Despite attempts by the Kiev regime to disrupt the visit of a group of IAEA experts to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the Russian side confirms its readiness to receive them with full security for further work,” the Russian statement concluded. “The situation in the area of the nuclear power plant is complicated, but remains under full control.”
In a separate statement some hours later, Moscow’s Defense Ministry charged that the sabotage attack and artillery strikes “leave no doubt that Zelenskyy regime had prepared this military provocation well in advance.” Had the seizure operation succeeded, the statement continued, Grossi and his team would have become “human shields” to ignite “a new wave of loud statements from Washington and European capitals calling on Russia to ensure a ‘demilitarized zone’ around the NPP, where IAEA monitors would remain under the protection of the Ukrainian military.”