Espreso. Global

IAEA cannot control safety at temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP - Greenpeace

28 September, 2023 Thursday

International regulatory bodies are unable to effectively oversee safety at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russia's control. This creates a threat of a potentially dangerous nuclear situation at the plant

This is reported by The Guardian with reference to the Greenpeace organization, which provided a critical dossier to Western governments on Thursday, September 28.

According to the conclusions of the environmental campaign, the International Atomic Energy Agency has an insufficient number of inspectors at the Zaporizhzhia NPP - only four, and their access is restricted by Russian troops.

Greenpeace's report states that the IAEA is unable to fulfill its duties within its mandate, but the Agency is not ready to admit this publicly. As a result, the violations of safety principles at the plant by the Russians, which were recorded by IAEA experts, are not exposed.

The IAEA risks normalizing what remains a dangerous nuclear crisis unprecedented in the history of nuclear power, while exaggerating its actual impact on events on the ground, emphasize nuclear energy experts. 

Greenpeace has added a military assessment by McKenzie Intelligence to its findings, which indicates that most of the Russian military forces and defensive assets at the Zaporizhzhia NPP are likely hidden, with inspectors claiming to have found evidence of mined areas of the plant.

The analysts also found traces of regular launches of Grad or Smerch MLRS by the Russian forces at Ukrainian targets from various locations at distances ranging from 1 to 18 km from the station.

There is a possibility that Russian troops will use the proximity of the nuclear power plant as a shield to deter counter-battery fire. They warn that this violates the IAEA's five safety principles, announced by its Director General Rafael Grossi at a UN Security Council meeting in May.

The IAEA stated that inspectors have been on site since September 2022 and without their presence, the world would not have an independent source of information about Europe's largest nuclear power plant.

Information available regarding the situation at ZNPP

Russian troops occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP in late February 2022. Since then, personnel and military equipment have been permanently stationed there, which the invading forces store in the machine rooms and from time to time bring to positions to shell the territories of the Nikopol district, Dnipropetrovsk region, located on the other side of the Kakhovka reservoir.

An IAEA monitoring mission is working there to ensure that the plant is not used as a military base, that the plant is not attacked or fired upon, and that external power supplies are not interrupted. However, blackouts at the NPP occur constantly. Since last year, Russian troops have started bringing explosives to ZNPP.

On July 24, the Russian forces put the fourth power unit of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant into a "hot shutdown" state, which is a violation of international nuclear law.

And on July 25, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recorded anti-personnel mines on the outskirts of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant site.

On July 29, the IAEA reported that after the fourth power unit at the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP was put on hot shutdown, the fifth power unit was cooled down.

On August 4, IAEA experts said they did not find mines or explosives on the roofs of two of the ZNPP reactor buildings. They did not have access to the others.

On September 9, the IAEA suggested increased military activity in the area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant due to numerous explosions over the past week.

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