Ukraine war: Key takeaways from IAEA’s visit to Russia-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

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Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, a team of UN experts visited the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Thursday (September 1). 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi led a team of inspectors to the Russian-controlled plant. 

Fears of a nuclear incident were raised as the plant has been frequently shelled in recent weeks. 

ALSO READ | ‘Saw what we needed to see’: IAEA team at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine 

Here are key points from IAEA’s crucial visit to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant:

1) The head of IAEA said that he saw what he “needed to see” at the nuclear plant. “I think we were able in these few hours to put together a lot, a lot of information. The key things I needed to see I saw, and your explanations were very clear,” Rafael Grossi told Russian media. 

2) IAEA team will be “staying” at the Moscow-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Grossi said, “The IAEA is staying here. Let the world know that the IAEA is staying at Zaporizhzhia.” 

3) After the visit, Grossi said in a video released by the Russian RIA Novosti news agency that “we have achieved something very important today”

4) No details over how many people would be staying and for how long. Previously, Grossi said that the IAEA would seek to establish a “permanent presence” at the atomic plant. 

5) After the inspection, Grossi noted the “dedicated work” of the plant’s staff and managers who are “carrying on professionally with their work despite very difficult circumstances”. 

ALSO READ | Poland wants Germany to pay WWII reparations of $1.32 trillion 

About Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The plant is located near the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula. It has six Soviet-designed VVER-1000 V-320 water-cooled and water-moderated reactors containing Uranium 235, which has a half-life of more than 700 million years. It is capable of supplying power to over four million homes. 

The Russian forces took over soon after the February 24 invasion. But the facility is still run by Ukrainian technicians. 

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