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Shelling Near Russian Occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Destroys Radiation Monitoring Station, IAEA Reports


Recent shelling and fires near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) resulted in the destruction of an external radiation monitoring station, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on June 27.

According to ZNPP personnel who informed IAEA experts, the plant lost communication with the radiation monitoring station, situated 16 kilometers southwest of the main facility, on June 24. This loss further reduces the plant's ability to detect radiation release from external sources during emergencies.

"The functioning of off-site radiation monitoring equipment is an essential part of nuclear safety around the world," emphasized IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

"These systems are important for continuously monitoring radiation levels and, in the case of an emergency, for quickly assessing the ongoing and potential radiological impact and what protective actions may need to be taken."

IAEA inspectors noted their inability to visit the off-site monitoring station to verify the reported damage due to ongoing hostilities in the area.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, multiple radiation monitoring stations within a 30-kilometer radius of the ZNPP have suffered damage and varying periods of service disruption. Currently, four out of the original 14 stations are non-operational.

"The loss of one radiation monitoring station does not have a direct impact on safety at the ZNPP, but it forms part of a continuous erosion of a range of safety measures during the war that remains a deep source of concern," Grossi remarked.

Since March 2022, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is the largest nuclear power station in Europe, has been occupied by Russia. Since September 2022, IAEA monitoring teams have rotated at the occupied nuclear plant. However, Russian authorities continue to deny full access to IAEA inspectors.

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