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Russians mined Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant again: IAEA reveals details

Russians mined Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant again: IAEA reveals details Head of the IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi (photo: Getty Images)

Russians have reportedly placed mines on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. This action is said to violate the safety standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to the IAEA website.

On January 18, IAEA experts once again visited the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), including all 6 main control rooms. They were able to determine the number of personnel at the station but were unable to inquire about their qualifications and experience.

Earlier this week, the experts gained access to the reactor hall of Unit 6. Currently, they are seeking access to other reactor halls, turbine halls, and the roofs of the reactors. Such access is necessary for monitoring nuclear safety and ensuring adherence to the five specific ZNPP protection principles, stated IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

Mines along the perimeter of the ZNPP, in the buffer zone between the inner and outer fences of the facility, previously discovered by the IAEA team and cleared in November 2023, have been reinstalled. This is a restricted area inaccessible to the operating staff of the station. The Director General reiterated that the presence of mines is incompatible with IAEA safety standards.

Last week, IAEA experts met with ZNPP personnel to discuss the technical maintenance of the station. The staff presented the experts with the 2024 technical maintenance plan, which includes crucial work related to nuclear safety.

This year, a top priority for ZNPP is the maintenance of safety systems and essential measures that were not carried out last year. The annual technical maintenance plan includes safety systems, diesel generators, individual transformers, and the 750 kV distribution station.

Occupation of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant by invaders

On March 4, 2022, Russian forces seized the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). The station has been continuously shelled by the Russian military, thereby violating nuclear safety. Against this backdrop, the President of Ukraine requested a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the power plant.

The IAEA delegation arrived at ZNPP on September 1. On this day, the occupiers shelled Enerhodar. Mission personnel observed key things and completed their inspection.