The International Atomic Energy Agency published its 52-page report on the situation at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), based on the agency’s recent mission to the facility, on Sept. 6.
In its conclusions, the document suggests there is an acute need for temporary measures to ensure nuclear safety of the ZNPP, including establish-ing a secure zone around the power plant. The IAEA says it’s ready to dis-cuss concrete steps to secure such a perimeter. Several IAEA experts will remain at the plant, monitoring the situation. Their presence will be “vital” in stabilizing the situation.
The report further notes it’s the first instance of an “armed conflict” engulfing a nuclear facility, and an accident there could have serious repercussions in Ukraine and beyond.
The agency said its experts witnessed shelling in ZNPP’s vicinity, and were told to evacuate. Furthermore, they saw evidence of previous attacks on the power plant, including near reactor buildings.
The document calls for all artillery attacks near ZNPP to cease, regardless of which side is carrying them out. Military equipment stored at the facility present a threat to nuclear safety of the plant.
IAEA representatives saw Russian troops and military equipment at ZNPP, including several military trucks parked across turbine halls. The report calls for all vehicles to be removed from areas where it can impact ZNPP’s safety systems.
“The staff at all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities have continued to show en-durance and resilience in keeping the sites running in a safe and secure way amid the conflict, and the IAEA salutes them,” the report says.
The agency said “adequate working conditions” have to be restored at ZNPP, as Ukrainian employees are working under tremendous pressure, raising the risks of human error.
“The IAEA considers that the presence of Rosatom senior technical staff could lead to interference with the normal lines of operational command or authority and create potential frictions when it comes to decision-making,” the IAEA believes.