Part of IAEA mission leaves Russian-captured Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant ahead of schedule

1 September, 06:43 PM
A Russian military helicopter over the Zaporizhzhya NPP, September 1, 2022 (Photo:Alexander Ermochenko / REUTERS)

A Russian military helicopter over the Zaporizhzhya NPP, September 1, 2022 (Photo:Alexander Ermochenko / REUTERS)

After spending four hours at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), part of the International Atomic Energy Agency mission sent to inspect the plant has left the facility, Russian news agency Interfax reported in the evening on Sept. 1.

The delegation, led by IAEA head Rafael Grossi, was tasked with ascertaining the level of nuclear safety at ZNPP, which Russian invasions forces have been using as a military base since capturing it on March 4.

According to Grossi, the agency has already obtained crucial information about the situation at the power plant.

Video of day

“I saw the key things I needed to see, the explanations provided were very clear,” Grossi told the press outside the facility.

The IAEA will seek to establish a permanent monitoring presence at ZNPP, BBC Russian Service reported, citing the agency’s head.

Reuters previously reported that the delegation was escorted by Russian troops when it arrived at the nuclear power plant. A Ukrainian source told the news agency that the visit “could be cut short.”

Hours before the IAEA experts were scheduled to arrive at ZNPP, Russian forces shelled the nearby city of Enerhodar, claiming that Ukraine had attempted an amphibious landing to capture the facility.

There is no evidence that these claims are true.

According to Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov, Russian troops themselves shelled the city early in the morning. By 9.30 a.m., Ukraine’s nuclear operator agency Energoatom said one of ZNPP’s reactors had been taken offline due to the attack.

The IAEA delegation arrived at the power plant at 2.30 p.m. to begin their fact-finding mission.

Ukrainian intelligence warned earlier that the Russians had removed any personnel they deemed “unreliable” from the facility ahead of the IAEA’s visit.

Фото: NV

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