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IAEA chief visited nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi shakes hands with an employee of the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Wednesday visited the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, 150 kilometers northwest of Mykolaiv, with the aim of setting up a ” technical assistance “, to prevent any risk accident. “I am in Central South Ukraine to meet with government officials and Ukrainian staff”wrote Mr. Grossi in a tweet accompanied by photos showing him shaking hands with employees of the site, which he greeted ” endurance “. “It is vital to be on the ground to provide effective support at this extremely difficult time”he added.

“I wanted to tell you that we are here with you, that we are ready to help you in any way and in any form possible”insists the head of the UN nuclear police in a video posted on his account.

The Agency now hopes to be able to quickly send experts on site and deliver the equipment necessary to guarantee the safety of the installations. Since the beginning of the Russian military offensive, more than a month ago, Mr. Grossi has constantly warned of the dangers of this war, the first to take place in a country endowed with a vast nuclear fleet. , i.e. fifteen reactors in four active power plants, and which houses several nuclear waste repositories. “We have already narrowly avoided several incidents. We can’t waste any more time.”the head of the IAEA said on Tuesday.

The Chernobyl site, scene of the worst nuclear disaster in history in 1986, fell into Russian hands on February 24, the first day of their offensive. It was then the victim of a power cut for several days, while its staff was forced to work for several weeks in a row without being relieved.

Another place occupied by the Russians, the Zaporozhya power plant, the largest in Europe, suffered artillery strikes on March 4 which caused a fire and raised fears of a disaster.

“Because of the actions of these invaders, IAEA standards are being violated on a daily basis” in the power plants of southern Ukraine and Chernobyl, deplored on Wednesday the director of the Ukrainian nuclear agency, Energoatom, Petro Kotin, quoted in a press release, estimating that the situation “degraded there”. “As long as these facilities are under the control of the Russian invaders, the whole world is in danger”, he warned. According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, “The Russian occupiers have created a huge ammunition depot in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl”. “They can explode at any time”then resulting in a “colossal ecological disaster”. She has “required” of the United Nations Security Council “take steps towards the demilitarization of the Chernobyl exclusion zone and send a special mission there” UN.

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