ua en ru

IAEA denies Russia preparing attack at Zaporizhzhia NPP, but 'anything can happen'

IAEA denies Russia preparing attack at Zaporizhzhia NPP, but 'anything can happen' Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi (Getty Images)

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said that experts have not observed any Russian military preparations for an attack at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). However, he did not rule out the possibility that "anything can happen", as France24 reports.

According to Grossi, the situation at the NPP is "serious" but stabilizing after the destruction of the nearby Kakhovska Hydroelectric Power Plant, whose water was used to cool the six reactors of the facility.

"Initials measures were taken by the management of the plant to preserve the needed amount of water, but this will not be enough on the long term," Grossi warned.

The increased military activity on the front line due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive adds "an additional layer of concern over a situation which is extremely volatile because the plant is sitting on the front line", Grossi added.

In the context of the hostilities, according to the IAEA Chief, "the plant is incredibly fragile and open to damage in case of an exchange of fire".

The threat of a terrorist act at the Zaporizhzhia NPP

The NPP, located in the temporarily occupied city of Energodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, is under the control of Russian forces since the early weeks of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It has been repeatedly reported that the occupants being there and having deployed equipment and personnel at the station, violate safety measures for the operation of the plant. Additionally, due to their actions, the Zaporizhia NPP has been disconnected from the Ukrainian power system several times, which threatens the plant's operation.

Recently, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Russians are preparing a terrorist act at the Zaporizhia NPP involving the release of radiation. Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov expressed the same opinion. According to him, the occupiers have additionally planted explosives at the NPP, including the cooling pond.

Special training exercises for emergency situations at the NPP started in Zaporizhzhia and the region on June 29. The residents of Mykolaiv have been urged to stock up on food and water in case Russian occupiers carry out a terrorist act at the facility.