IAEA Chief Reports on Tour of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Sept. 2, 2022 (EIRNS)—Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told reporters yesterday, after returning to Ukrainian government controlled territory, that the physical integrity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been violated several times and he was worried by the situation there. “[T]his is something that cannot continue to happen,” he said, reported Reuters. He said his experts would stay at the facility and he would continue to worry until the situation had stabilized.
Grossi said he had been able to tour the entire site, seeing key areas such as the emergency systems and control rooms. His team would now need to do a lot of work to finish its analysis of technical aspects. “We are not going anywhere. The IAEA is now there, it is at the plant and it is not moving—it’s going to stay there,” he said. Those experts, he added, would provide what he called an impartial, neutral, technically sound assessment of what was happening on the ground.
Grossi told journalists that the IAEA experts conducted an initial assessment, managed to inspect “quite a lot,” and were planning to continue working at the plant, reported TASS. The residents of Enerhodar, with whom Grossi spoke before leaving the plant, handed him a petition with over 20,000 signatures calling for Ukraine to stop provocations against the plant.
According to the Russians, Ukrainian forces continued shelling the area near the plant even after the IAEA team arrived. “Yesterday, when the IAEA inspectors were staying with a working visit on the premises of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian forces conducted a strike on a thermal power plant and two strikes on a ferry service located on its premises.... Later on Friday [Sept. 2], after the IAEA inspection had departed ... the city was shelled three times,” said the head of the military-civilian administration of Zaporizhzhia Alexander Volga said, according to TASS in a separate report. “At present, it is quite calm in the city.”