Security situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant 'extremely fragile': IAEA

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned Thursday of the fragile situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, which is currently under Russian control, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

"The nuclear safety and security situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, in particular, continues to be extremely fragile," Rafael Grossi told a UN Security Council meeting.

Zaporizhzhia, Europe's largest and one of the world's 10 biggest nuclear power plants, came under Russia's control soon after the start of the war on Feb. 24, 2022.

Grossi said the plant’s six reactors have been shut down since mid-2022 – five of them in cold shutdown and one in hot shutdown.

"But the potential dangers of a major nuclear accident remain very real," he added.

The plant has been operating on significantly reduced staff, which despite the reactors being shut down is "not sustainable," Grossi said.

"And there have now been eight occasions when the site lost all off-site power and had to rely on emergency diesel generators, the last line of defense against a nuclear accident, to provide essential cooling of the reactor and spent fuel," he stressed.

He reminded the Security Council that the availability of off-site power is essential to ensure the plant’s safe operation.

"A nuclear accident has not yet happened. This is true. But complacency could still lead us to tragedy. That should not happen,” he said.

"We must do everything in our power to minimize the risk that it does.”

Ahead of his address at the Security Council, Grossi also met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss "critical issues" like the nuclear safety and security situation in Ukraine and non-proliferation efforts in the Middle East.

Following the meeting, Grossi told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York that he will soon visit both Kyiv and Moscow.

"I think this is what we need. We need diplomacy. We need diplomacy that works. This is what I'm trying to do," he said.


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