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IAEA Chief Meets Russian Delegation Amid Concerns Over Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant

By RFE/RL November 23, 2022

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi has met with a delegation from Russia over safety concerns at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which again came under attack last week.

"IAEA Director General @rafaelmgrossi met a Russian delegation led by Rosatom DG Alexey Likhachev in Istanbul today, for consultations on operational aspects related to safety at #Zaporizhzhya NPP in Ukraine & on urgently establishing a nuclear safety & security protection zone," the UN nuclear watchdog said in a tweet on November 23.

An IAEA team on the ground reported on November 20 that some of the plant's buildings, systems, and equipment were damaged in the attacks, raising safety concerns at Europe's larges nuclear power station.

Ukraine's energy agency Enerhoatom accused Russian forces of shelling the facility, saying that at least 12 strikes were recorded "on the territory of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant."

Russia's Defense Ministry countered that Ukrainian forces were the ones firing on power lines that supply the plant, while an official from the Russian nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom said that some of the site's storage facilities had been hit as the shells had targeted a dry nuclear waste storage facility and a building that houses spent nuclear fuel.

No radioactive emissions are believed to have leaked during the attacks.

In recent months, Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of targeting the plant, which Russian forces took control of shortly after their invasion of Ukraine in February. The reactors at the Soviet-designed plant have been shut down, but there is a risk that nuclear fuel could overheat if power supplies to the plant's cooling systems are cut off.

The plant has been forced to operate on backup generators a number of times since the Russian invasion.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-zaporizhzhya- nuclear-plant-grossi-attacks/32145103.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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