IAEA chief visits nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine
Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited the nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, 150 kilometers northwest of Mykolaiv, on Wednesday with the aim of setting up a ” technical assistance “, to prevent any risk d’accident. “I am in south central Ukraine to meet with government officials and Ukrainian personnel”Mr. Grossi wrote in a tweet accompanied by photos showing him shaking hands with site employees, whom he greeted. ” resistance “. “It is vital to be on the ground to provide effective support at this extremely difficult time”he added.
“I wanted to tell you that we are here with you, that we are ready to help you in any way and in any way possible.”insists the head of the UN nuclear police in a video posted on his account.
The Agency now hopes to be able to quickly send experts to the site and deliver the necessary equipment to ensure the safety of the facilities. Since the beginning of the Russian military offensive, more than a month ago, Mr. Grossi has constantly warned about the dangers of this war, the first to take place in a country endowed with a vast nuclear fleet, that is to say, fifteen reactors in four assets. power plants, and which houses several nuclear waste repositories. “We have already narrowly avoided several incidents. We can not lose more time”.the IAEA chief said on Tuesday.
The Chernobyl site, scene of the worst nuclear disaster in history in 1986, fell into Russian hands on February 24, the first day of its offensive. He was then the victim of a power outage for several days, while his staff was forced to work for several weeks at a time without being relieved.
Another Russian-occupied site, the Zaporozhya power plant, Europe’s largest, came under artillery fire on March 4, sparking a fire and raising fears of disaster.
“Due to the actions of these invaders, IAEA standards are violated on a daily basis” in the power plants of southern Ukraine and Chernobyl, lamented this Wednesday the director of the Ukrainian nuclear agency, Energoatom, Petro Kotin, quoted in a press release, estimating that the situation “degraded there”. “As long as these facilities are under the control of the Russian invaders, the whole world is in danger”, he warned. According to Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk, “The Russian occupiers have created a huge ammunition depot in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl”. “They can explode at any moment”then resulting in a “colossal ecological disaster”. She has “required” of the United Nations Security Council “take steps towards the demilitarization of the Chernobyl exclusion zone and send a special mission there” UNITED NATIONS.