The IAEA mission begins this Thursday with the inspection of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant


The UN agency’s 14 experts arrive in the region after a nine-hour journey and ask Kiev and Moscow for security guarantees to do their job

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, made up of 14 experts, arrived in the Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhya this Wednesday afternoon in a convoy of 20 vehicles and after traveling for nine hours with the aim of guarding the nuclear power plant. IAEA director Rafael Grossi said work will begin on Thursday, when they will make “technical assessments of the situation” and speak with plant staff.

“We are going to spend a few days there,” Grossi announced before heading to Zaporizhzhya, more than 500 kilometers from the capital Kiev, where he was received on Tuesday by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who offered his commitment to the mission.

The head of the IAEA asked for “guarantees” from both sides to do their jobs at the factory, which has been taken over by Russian forces since early March. The aim, as detailed, is for the delegation to make an effort to stabilize the situation “as far as possible”. “We will try to establish a permanent presence of the agency from then on,” he said.

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe. It has a net capacity of 9,500 megawatts and had more than 10,000 employees before the war. Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began, it was occupied by Russia and has been the scene of fighting in recent weeks.

Hours before the inspectors arrived, Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of further bombings in Energodar, the city where the factory is located. Despite the fact that the factory is in the middle of the frontline of the war, experts from the UN nuclear agency have already received security guarantees from both sides to cross the factory.

In any case, Grossi said he was aware of the danger of the mission. “These operations are very complex: we are going to a war zone, to an occupied area,” he stressed about a visit that coincides with an increase in fighting in the nearby Kherson region and in the Donbas mining basin (east). Russian troops also killed seven people on Wednesday in bombing the cities of Kharkiv and Mikolaiv.

Source: La Verdad


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