IAEA replaces monitoring missions at four Ukrainian NPPs, including Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya plant
The Zaporizhia NPP was captured by the Russian occupiers (Photo:Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo/Reuters)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) replaced its monitoring missions at four Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs), including Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP, on Feb. 6, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine reported on Feb. 7.
In addition to the Zaporizhzhya NPP, replacements of missions were conducted at the Pivdennoukrainsk NPP, as well as at the Rivne and Chornobyl NPPs on Feb. 4.
The regulator reiterated that the IAEA had deployed permanent monitoring missions to all Ukrainian NPPs in response to an official request from the Ukrainian government amid ongoing Russian aggression.
The Zaporizhzhya NPP is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. On March 4, 2022, Russian forces seized the strategic power facility and captured its employees. Several ZNPP structures on the premises of the plant were damaged by Russian shelling.
Russian troops have set up firing positions inside the plant’s territory and are shelling Ukrainian cities from there. Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom reported that the Russian military had placed at least 14 units of heavy military hardware, loaded with ammunition, weapons, and explosives, in a turbine hall at the ZNPP.
The IAEA has since established a permanent monitoring presence at the facility. The organization has called for the establishment of a demilitarized security zone around the plant.
On Jan. 16, 2023, the IAEA announced it would expand its presence in Ukraine to help prevent a nuclear accident during the ongoing conflict.
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