IAEA’s Grossi says situation ‘serious’ at Ukraine nuclear plant

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine is “serious” but being stabilised.

Grossi arrived at Europe’s biggest nuclear plant on Thursday to assess potential safety risks after the partial collapse of the Kakhovka dam, which caused widespread flooding and exacerbated fears for the facility’s safety.

The plant has been shut down, but it still needs water to cool the fuel in its reactors and its spent fuel to prevent a meltdown. It uses a cooling pond to keep its six reactors from overheating. The Kakhovka Reservoir was normally used to refill the pond but cannot do so now because of its falling water level due to the breach, officials said.

Instead, the pond, which is separated from the reservoir, can be replenished using deep underground wells, they said.

“On the one hand, we can see that the situation is serious,” Grossi said on a visit to the plant. “The consequences [of the dam’s destruction] are there, and they are real.”

“At the same time, there are measures that are being taken to stabilise the situation.”

He said it was unrealistic to expect Moscow and Kyiv to sign a document on the site’s security while fighting raged nearby. He also said that IAEA inspectors would remain at the site.

“We have a political agreement which was formulated at the [United Nations] Security Council. Reaching a written agreement would be unrealistic at this stage because, as we know, there are no peace or ceasefire negotiations between the parties,” Russia’s TASS

Source: Aljazeera.com


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