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Russian terrorism: IAEA finds mines at Zaporizhzhia NPP

Russian terrorism: IAEA finds mines at Zaporizhzhia NPP Rafael Grossi, IAEA Director General (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts have observed directional anti-personnel mines on the periphery of the site of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), according to a report by the IAEA.

The agency's report indicates that during a walkdown on 23 July, the IAEA team saw some mines located in a buffer zone between the site’s internal and external perimeter barriers. The experts reported that they were situated in a restricted area that operating plant personnel cannot access and were facing away from the site.

"The IAEA has been aware of the previous placement of mines outside the site perimeter and also at particular places inside. Our team has raised this specific finding with the plant and they have been told that it is a military decision, and in an area controlled by military," Rafael Grossi, the Director-General of the IAEA, said.

He further added that the presence of such explosives on the site is inconsistent with the IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance and creates additional psychological pressure on plant staff.

Threat of terrorism at Zaporizhzhia NPP

Earlier, the Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, reported that the Russians had planted explosives at the ZNPP. Specifically, they placed explosives on the coolers of the power plant's energy blocks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had warned that the Russians could carry out a terrorist attack at the temporarily occupied plant, leading to a radiation release. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces informed that the occupiers might have planted explosives on the roofs of several reactors.

ZNPP 4th power unit

Energoatom stated that the Russian occupiers put the fourth power unit of the ZNPP into a "hot shutdown" mode on July 24. The department emphasized that such actions constitute a gross violation of the license requirements for operating this nuclear facility, as the energy block should currently be in a "cold shutdown" mode.