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IAEA Still Doesn’t Have Full Access To Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant

  • Despite inspections carried out by the IAEA team at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, they have been denied access to the rooftops of the reactor buildings.
  • Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of planning incidents at the plant, with Kyiv alleging that Russia has placed explosives on the rooftops of certain power units.
  • Amidst the volatile security situation, President Zelenskiy has urged the international community to intervene, warning of potential Russian provocations at the facility.
IAEA

Russia has still not provided UN nuclear experts at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine access to the rooftops of the occupied facilitie's reactors, the agency said on July 20.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that its team has carried out inspections at the power plant over the past week and has not observed any heavy military equipment or "visible indication of explosives or mines."

But the statement added that the experts “are still awaiting access to the rooftops of the reactor buildings.”

The statement also said that the nuclear power plant is in a "volatile security situation in the region located on the frontline of the conflict."

Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of planning an incident at the plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since soon after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion in February last year.

Kyiv has accused Russia of placing explosives on the rooftops of the third and fourth power units at the plant, and IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi noted earlier this month that he hoped his inspectors would gain access to these areas.

The IAEA said then that access to the rooftops of reactor units3 and 4 was "essential" as was access to parts of the turbine halls.

Grossi’s request to inspect the areas has now been pending for nearly two weeks.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged the international community to intervene and reiterated his warnings that Russia is planning provocations at the facility.

The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest, has been targeted by gunfire multiple times, severing it from the electrical grid and raising fears of a major nuclear accident.

Though the plant is not generating electricity, it requires electrical power to maintain the cooling of its reactors.

The statement added that the IAEA team did not report hearing any explosions over the past week, which was a contrast to the preceding week when it was almost a daily occurrence.

The IAEA experts are also continuing to closely monitor the situation regarding the availability of water for cooling the plant’s six reactors and other essential nuclear safety and security functions following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in early June and the subsequent depletion of a reservoir near the plant.

By RFE/RL

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