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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Critical Condition Under Russian Occupation, IAEA Warns

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised serious safety concerns regarding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) currently under Russian control. Director of IAEA Rafael Grossi revealed that all seven core nuclear safety principles were entirely or partially compromised.

“The situation at Zaporizhia remains difficult,” Grossi stated. This difficulty translates to a multitude of problems, including staffing shortages that block essential inspections and maintenance of safety systems. Additionally, the plant faces disruptions in its supply chains, raising logistical challenges, and the effectiveness of emergency response mechanisms remains unclear.

Further escalating concerns, Grossi pointed to a direct attack on the ZNPP in early April, the first such incident in nearly 18 months. This attack directly violated a fundamental principle established by the IAEA for the plant’s protection.

The IAEA’s report signifies a significant escalation in anxieties surrounding the Zaporizhzhia plant. The compromised safety protocols under Russian occupation raise the likelihood of a potential nuclear disaster.

Despite a cold shutdown of all reactors since April, the IAEA remains troubled by limited access to key areas and communication restrictions at Zaporizhzhia. This lack of transparency hinders a comprehensive assessment of the plant’s safety and security.

Ukraine continues to press for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the facility, echoing President Zelenskyy’s warnings that the world remains “on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe” as long as they remain. Russia, however, has refused to create a demilitarized zone around ZNPP.

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