Physical integrity of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ‘violated’ several times, says IAEA chief

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Friday that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station has sustained major damages to its “physical integrity” due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Rafael Grossi, the director general of IAEA, led the inspection of the power plant in south Ukraine and concluded that the shelling has caused considerable damage to its structure. 

“It is obvious that the plant and physical integrity of the plant has been violated several times,” Grossi told reporters after the visit, according to Reuters. 

“I worried, I worry and I will continue to be worried about the plant. We spent there four or five hours. I have seen a lot, and I have my people there, we were able to tour the whole site,” he added. 

While the inspection was more or less over, Grossi told reporters that they will be staying “until Sunday or Monday, continuing with the assessment”. “We are not going anywhere. The IAEA is now there, it is at the plant and it is not moving – it’s going to stay there,” Reuters quoted Grossi as saying. 

The Zaporizhzhia plant is currently in a complex situation as although it is operated by a Ukrainian crew, the control remains with the Russian military who took over the facility in March. That has resulted in constant conflicts between the two sides and it has been detrimental to the plant’s infrastructure. 

Earlier, the United Nations asked Russia to withdraw troops from the nuclear plant considering the sensitive nature of the facility. However, the Russian forces did not pay heed to the request. 

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