What is going on in the largest nuclear power plant in Europe? Experts from the UN Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are investigating this question in Zaporizhia. After a first flying visit, their boss is satisfied. "A lot of information was gathered" in a short time.
After an initial inspection of Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will remain at the power plant site. "We achieved something very important today. And the most important thing is that the IAEA stays here," said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, according to a video distributed by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. However, Grossi did not say how many IAEA experts will remain in the facility and for how long.
The Ukrainian energy company Energoatom wrote on Telegram that five employees of the UN agency would probably be on site by Saturday. On his own Twitter channel, Grossi said in the evening that the IAEA intends to establish a continuous presence on the ground. There is still a lot to do.
The IAEA team arrived at the nuclear facility around noon. After the plant and its surroundings have been shelled several times, the team, led by IAEA boss Grossi, wants to check the safety of the huge nuclear plant and assess the damage.
After the first tour, Grossi told Russian journalists who accompanied his team on the visit to Zaporizhia that the IAEA experts "were able to gather a lot of information in these few hours". "I saw the most important things that I needed to see," added Grossi. He highlighted the "dedicated work" of the plant's staff and management, who continued to work "professionally" despite "very difficult circumstances". According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Grossi and part of his team left the facility in four of the nine vehicles in the IAEA convoy in the afternoon.
Zaporizhia is located in southern Ukraine on the Dnipro River and is therefore on the front line. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe has been occupied by Russian troops since March. There have been repeated attacks there in recent weeks, for which Kyiv and Moscow blamed each other. The shelling fueled fears that Zaporizhia could experience a nuclear disaster similar to that in 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union.