Zaporizhia nuclear plant: IAEA chief “extremely concerned”
“We must act now to prevent an impending serious nuclear accident,” says a current situation report. But an agreement on the nuclear power plant is not in sight.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is alarmed by the tense situation surrounding the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which is close to the front. The situation is becoming increasingly unpredictable and the risk of danger in the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant is increasing, said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi.
“I am extremely concerned about the very real security risks,” he warns in a status report. “We must act now to prevent an impending serious nuclear accident.”
The pro-Moscow administration in the Zaporizhia region announced evacuations on Friday, including the city of Enerhodar, where most of the nuclear power plant personnel live. According to Grossi, the employees are staying on site, but the situation is still becoming “increasingly tense, nerve-wracking and challenging” for them and their families. According to the IAEA, permanent stress can lead to errors and accidents in nuclear power plants.
Agreement not in sight
Grossi again called for an agreement between Ukraine and Russia to protect the nuclear power plant from attacks. Originally, Moscow was positive about the plan, while Kiev was skeptical because it did not provide for a Russian withdrawal from the power plant, as the German Press Agency learned from European diplomatic circles. Since Kiev recently took a more positive stance, but at the same time called for the Russians to withdraw, Russia was said to be less agreeable.
A Ukrainian counter-offensive is expected in the near future. One possibility is a military advance in the Zaporizhia region towards the coast of the Sea of Azov.