IAEA team sets out to inspect Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant
kyiv: Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left kyiv on Wednesday for the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied region of southern Ukraine.
“We will spend a few days there,” announced the IAEA’s chief and chief of mission, Rafael Grossi, before leaving kyiv.
Grossi said he and 13 experts were there to stabilize the situation as much as they could, the dpa news agency reports.
The IAEA chief hopes to speak with Ukrainian staff at the plant during his visit.
Grossi stressed that his team had received all the necessary guarantees of safe passage for the long journey to the war zone, some 450 km from kyiv.
“We are going to occupied territory and this requires explicit guarantees, not only from the Russian side, but also from the Republic of Ukraine”, he underlined before setting off in a convoy of 10 white SUVs with UN registrations .
The IAEA team was received by President Volodymyr Zelensky upon their arrival in Kyiv on Tuesday.
He called the arrival of the mission one of the most important security issues for Ukraine and the world today.
Zelensky called for the demilitarization of the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant, saying a zone should be created around the plant.
He also called for the transfer of the nuclear power plant to Ukrainian state control as the only way to exclude all nuclear risks.
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe.
It has a net output of 9,500 megawatts and had over 10,000 employees before the war began.
The factory was occupied by Russian troops soon after the invasion of Ukraine began in late February.
In recent weeks, the plant has been the target of frequent fires, for which kyiv and Moscow blame each other, sparking international concern about a possible nuclear disaster.