Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

UN nuclear team arrives at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant after shelling delayed travel

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A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) Thursday after initial delays were caused from nearby shelling. 

The team of 13 men and one woman, led by Direct General Rafael Grossi, are hoping to better secure the site to prevent a nuclear catastrophe as a barrage of shelling that has threatened the integrity of the power station.

Ukraine’s defense ministry accused Russia of shelling the city of Enerhodar, located just 4 miles from the power station, along with areas in the immediate vicinity of the plant Thursday.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and fellow officials try to negotiate access to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, in this handout image released Sept. 1, 2022. 

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and fellow officials try to negotiate access to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, in this handout image released Sept. 1, 2022. 
(International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) /Handout via REUTERS )

UN WATCHDOG HEADS TO UKRAINE’S ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT WITH ‘EXPLICIT GUARANTEES’ FOR ITS SAFETY

The ministry said a “group of Russian attack helicopters” hit residential areas in the city while a mortar strike hit near the plant’s nuclear reactors, reported Interfax.

Ukraine’s nuclear agency Energoatom said one of the plant’s two operational reactors had been shut down Thursday after power supply lines were again damaged – occurring just one week after both reactors were disconnected from the power grid. 

A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Aug. 30, 2022. 

A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Aug. 30, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

UKRAINE NUCLEAR PLANT WORKER SAYS RUSSIA EVACUATED ITS PERSONNEL AHEAD OF ATTACKS ON ZAPORIZHZHIA

Emergency protection systems have once again been triggered and backup diesel generators are ensuring the continued functioning of the disconnected reactor, Energoatom said on Telegram.

Russia claimed Ukrainian forces were behind the Thursday strikes and the Moscow-installed governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yevgeny Balitsky, said that at least three people had been killed and five wounded in the attack, reported Reuters.

The strikes reportedly hit three kindergartens and had cut power to the city. 

IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi, leads the IAEA expert mission that comprise IAEA nuclear safety, security, and safeguards staff as they set for their official visit to Ukraine to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), at Vienna International Airport, Austria, Aug. 29, 2022. 

IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi, leads the IAEA expert mission that comprise IAEA nuclear safety, security, and safeguards staff as they set for their official visit to Ukraine to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), at Vienna International Airport, Austria, Aug. 29, 2022. 
(Dean Calma/IAEA/Handout via REUTERS )

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The IAEA mission to the Ukrainian power station is the first time the UN agency has crossed front lines into an active war zone since its inception in 1957.

Speaking from the city of Zaporizhzhia, roughly 30 miles from the nuclear plant, Grossi said Thursday that he and his team were aware of the attacks but that they would push ahead with their mission, reports said.



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