UN watchdog lays out principles to ensure nuclear safety, security at Zaporizhzhia plant

The UN's nuclear watchdog laid out five principles Tuesday to help ensure nuclear safety and security at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Europe's biggest nuclear power plant has been under Russian military and operational control since March 4, 2022, roughly two weeks after it launched its offensive against Ukraine.

''The nuclear safety and security situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, in particular, continues to be extremely fragile and dangerous,'' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi warned during a briefing to the UN Security Council.

''Military activities continue in the region and may well increase very considerably in the near future,” Grossi said.

''There have been seven occasions when the site lost all off-site power and had to rely on emergency diesel generators, the last line of defense against a nuclear accident, to provide essential cooling of the reactor and spent fuel.”

Grossi's five principles include that there should be no attack from or against the plant and it should not be used as storage or a base for heavy weapons including multiple rocket launchers, artillery systems and munitions, and tanks or for military personnel.

He called on Russia and Ukraine to respect these principles to safeguard the nuclear power plant.

Russia's UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia said his country has made every effort to prevent serious threats from the very beginning.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Russia of using the nuclear plant for military purposes, ''deploying there about 500 military personnel and 50 units of heavy weaponry.''


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