Russia invites nuclear inspectors to a bombarded Ukrainian nuclear plant

A Russian serviceman stands guard outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar, Ukraine, on May 1. Photo: Andrey Borodulin/AFP/Getty Images

The safety of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which was attacked last week, is in question, according to Russia's assurances to diplomats that it is ready to welcome foreign monitors inside the facility.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have stated that there is a "genuine risk of a nuclear disaster" at Europe's largest nuclear power plant due to violence in the region. Since March, the Russian military has held the Zaporizhzhia facility, which contains six reactors worth tens of billions of dollars.

According to a memo distributed among diplomats in Vienna, the Kremlin's envoy to the IAEA has invited an international team to Zaporizhzhia to conduct "activities within the framework of implementing safeguards and monitoring the state of nuclear safety and security."

The Russian action is only one of the prerequisites for the IAEA to dispatch inspectors. IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated last week that he requires approval from the Ukrainian government, security guarantees, and safe transit across the combat zone.

Grossi stated, "going there is a very complex endeavor because it requires the cooperation and comprehension of a number of actors." "Because it is a Ukrainian infrastructure, Ukraine must consent. Concurrently, the plant is captured by Russia, and I must communicate with everyone."

Monday, the Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom appeared to support the idea of sending an international delegation to Zaporizhia.

Energoatom President Petro Kotin stated in a radio interview, "We call on our allies to establish a demilitarized zone at the station." "A mission of peacekeepers and experts from the IAEA and other organizations should be established."

Ukraine thinks some 500 Russian soldiers are stationed in and around the Zaporizhzhia site, which Ukrainian specialists still control. According to authorities, the shelling damaged wires at a nearby coal-power plant that supplies electricity for cooling and circulation at the nuclear station.

Without consistent power flows to limit atomic fission, nuclear reactors risk exploding. In 1986, the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine dispersed radiation across a large portion of Europe. Fukushima's 2011 meltdown continues to have repercussions, with facilities still being cooled and the Japanese government planning to pour radioactive debris into the ocean.

Publish : 2022-08-09 06:51:00

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