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IAEA's head to visit Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia NPP next week

IAEA's head to visit Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia NPP next week Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, will visit Kyiv and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) next week, according to the IAEA press service.

"It will be the fourth time Director General Grossi crosses the frontline of the war to visit the ZNPP, whose six reactors have all been in shutdown for nearly eighteen months and produce no electricity but still hold large amounts of nuclear fuel that must be kept safe, including adequately cooled, and secure," the press service writes.

Before heading to ZNPP, Grossi will hold high-level talks in Kyiv.

The IAEA head plans at the station:

  • to make progress in addressing a range of issues, including potential risks associated with the technical maintenance of NPP equipment;
  • address personnel issues at ZNPP and request additional information on preventing Energoatom employees from entering the station;

"I will discuss this latest development when I visit the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant next week. It is of crucial importance that the plant has the qualified and skilled staff that it needs for nuclear safety and security. The number of staff has already been reduced significantly since the war began almost two years ago," explained Grossi.

In particular, along with the IAEA head, a new group of organization experts will arrive at the station, replacing the current team.

Situation at the occupied ZNPP

The largest NPP in Europe was occupied by Russian terrorists at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The enemy deployed military equipment on its territory. In particular, during the occupation, the station was disconnected from the power systems of Ukraine several times. Currently, experts from the IAEA are stationed at the NPP, occasionally rotating.

As Energoatom reported, as of December 2023, since the beginning of the occupation, there have been at least 8 complete blackouts at the station. Such incidents can pose a threat not only to the nuclear and radiation safety of Ukraine but also to other countries.

On January 20, the IAEA stated that they had identified new mining on the territory of Zaporizhzhia NPP.