Russia threatens to limit IAEA’s access to ZNPP in wake of shelling

21 November 2022, 08:36 PM
Zaporizhzhya NPP seized by Russian occupants since March 4 (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Zaporizhzhya NPP seized by Russian occupants since March 4 (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

After Russian troops have once again shelled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring mission might not be allowed to inspect certain facilities at the site, Russian news agency TASS reported on Nov. 21.

Renat Karchaa, whom the Moscow calls “adviser to the general director of (Russian state nuclear operator) Rosenergoatom,” said that Russian troops at the seized Ukrainian power plant would provide IAEA experts with access “strictly within their mandate.”

"...If they want to inspect a facility that has nothing to do with nuclear safety, they will be denied," Karchaa said.

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According to the IAEA, cooling pond sprinkler systems, a cable to one of the generators, condensate tanks, and a bridge between a reactor building and auxiliary buildings were all damaged in a series of explosions on Nov. 20.

“Once again, we were lucky that a potentially serious nuclear incident didn’t occur,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

“We may not be so lucky next time, so we must make every effort to ensure that there is no next time.”

On Nov. 20, IAEA observers reported more than ten explosions at Russia-occupied ZNPP.

Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom said that the Russian military had been shelling the ZNPP all morning of Nov. 20. Moscow seeks to blame Ukraine for the attack.

Energoatom stated that damaged ZNPP equipment indicates that Russians deliberately disabled the infrastructure that was needed to bring back two of ZNPP’s reactors back online to resume producing electricity for the Ukrainian power grid.

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