Ukraine’s Nuclear Site:
Parts of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have been “seriously damaged” by military strikes, Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator says. IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said he was “extremely concerned” by reports of shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear site in Ukraine. Ukraine said parts of the facility were “seriously damaged” by Russian military strikes. Russia seized the plant in March. It has kept its Ukrainian employees, but Kyiv accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing “terror tactics”. Friday’s strikes underline “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond”, Mr. Grossi said in a statement.
Ukrainian staff must be able to carry out their important duties “without threats or pressure”, he said, adding that the IAEA should be allowed to provide technical support. “For the sake of protecting people in Ukraine and elsewhere from a potential nuclear accident, we must all set aside our differences and act, now. The IAEA is ready,” said Mr. Grossi, days after stating the plant was “Completely Out of Control”. The operator of the Zaporizhzhia plant said the Russian missile strikes had forced the closure of one “power unit”, adding that there was a risk of radioactive leaks.
The strikes “caused a serious risk for the safe operation of the plant”, operator Enerhoatom wrote on Telegram. Moscow said Ukraine carried out the attack. The BBC was unable to verify the reported damage at the nuclear plant. However, the EU has hit out at Moscow over the latest shelling with the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, saying it “condemns Russia’s military activities” around the plant. “This is a serious and irresponsible breach of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia’s disregard for international norms,” he said and called for the IAEA to be granted access to the plant.
Civilians in nearby Nikopol, which lies across the river and is still under Ukrainian control, told the BBC that the Russians were firing rockets from the area around the plant and moving military hardware into the compound. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that “any bombing of this site is a shameless crime, an act of terror”. The plant is in the city of Enerhodar, in southeast of Ukraine along the left bank of the River Dnieper (Dnipro in Ukrainian). The UK defense ministry says Russia is using the area to launch attacks – taking advantage of the “protected status” of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk of overnight attacks from Ukrainian forces.
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station:
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the ten largest in the world. It was built by the Soviet Union near the city of Enerhodar, on the southern shore of the Kavkhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river. It is operated by Energoatom which also operates Ukraine’s other three nuclear power stations. The Plant has six VVER-1000 Pressurized light water Nuclear reactors (PWR), each fuelled with Uranium 235 and generating 950 Megawatt for a total power output of 5700 MW. The plant generates nearly half of the country’s electricity derived from Nuclear power and more than a fifth of the total electricity generated in Ukraine. On March 4, 2022, the nuclear and thermal power stations were captured by Russian Forces during the battle of Enerhodar. As of March 12, 2022, the plant is reportedly controlled by the Russian company Rosatom. The Plant continues to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.
Ukrainska Pravda a Ukrainian Newspaper reported in March that the plant’s management was told by Russian authorities that the plant now belonged to Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear power company. It continued to operate and supply data, including from a remote monitoring system, to the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, issued the following statement today about the situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant: I’m extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which underlines the genuine risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond.
According to Ukraine, there has been no damage to the reactors themselves and no radiological release. However, there is damage elsewhere on the site. Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs. Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences. I strongly and urgently appeal to all parties to exercise the utmost restraint in the vicinity of this important nuclear facility, with its six reactors. And I condemn any violent acts carried out at or near the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant or against its staff.
Source: The data is taken from different media outlets as well as the official website of the IAEA. Moreover, Reported by the Media team of the Youth Diplomacy Forum. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn: @youthdiploforum