Russia may provoke nuclear incident even after liberation of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Ukraine’s Minister of Energy
Russian terrorists may create conditions that will lead to a nuclear incident after the liberation of the ZNPP. To prevent this, it is important to organize an international mission
Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko said this during a meeting with the head of the European Union delegation, Deputy Director-General for Energy at the European Commission Massimo Garribba.
"The Minister expressed concern that the Russians could create conditions that would lead to a nuclear incident after the de-occupation of ZNPP. To prevent this, it is important to organize an international mission to check the situation at the facility and make sure that the NPP is safe to return to operation," the statement said.
According to him, the situation at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is quite tense and poses a potential threat to nuclear safety not only in Ukraine but also on the entire European continent.
Halushchenko also stressed that today there is virtually no international experience and protocols for restoring nuclear power plant operations after armed conflicts, so the situation at ZNPP is unique and requires special attention.
The threat of terrorism and the situation at the Europe’s largest Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
Russian forces occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP in late February 2022. Since then, there has been a constant presence of personnel and military equipment, which the invading Russian troops store in machine rooms and occasionally deploy to positions for shelling the territories of the Nikopol district in the Dnipropetrovsk region, located on the other side of the Kakhovka Reservoir.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a monitoring mission at the station, which is supposed to ensure that the nuclear power plant is not used as a military base, that it is not attacked, and that no fire is initiated from the NPP. Power outages at the nuclear power plant occur regularly though. Occupiers began importing explosives to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant last year.
In May 2023 information emerged that the Russian forces had placed explosives in the turbine room of the ZNPP’s fourth power unit. Additionally, the invading Russian forces have nearly completely destroyed the emergency readiness and response system at the nuclear power plant.
On June 22, after visiting ZNPP, IAEA Director General Grossi said that the situation there was extremely unstable, and in July the Agency recorded anti-personnel mines on the periphery of the Zaporizhzhia NPP site.
ZNPP is still connected to Ukraine's power grid, although the occupiers have tried several times to reconnect it to the Russian power grid.