Posted by on August 3, 2022 5:37 pm
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Ukraine nuclear plant ‘completely out of control,’ UN watchdog warns

FILE – Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) speaks as Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi listens during a news conference at the Iikura guesthouse in Tokyo, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The U.N. nuclear chief warned that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine “is completely out of control” and issued an urgent plea to Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the sprawling complex to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File) Hiro Komae/AP

Ukraine nuclear plant ‘completely out of control,’ UN watchdog warns

Breanne Deppisch August 03, 04:48 PMAugust 03, 04:48 PM Video Embed

U.N. nuclear chief Rafael Grossi warned Wednesday that the situation at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine is “completely out of control,” calling on leaders from Russia and Ukraine to allow experts to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear incident.

Grossi said the situation is growing increasingly perilous at the Zaporizhzhia plant in southeast Ukraine, which fell under Russian control earlier this year.

“Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated” at the plant, Grossi told the Associated Press. “What is at stake is extremely serious and extremely grave and dangerous.”

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In the interview, Grossi cited violations of the plant’s safety and noted it is in a location where “active war is ongoing.”

He also cited concerns about interruptions in the supply chain of equipment and spare parts to the facility and said the plant has not responded to repeated attempts to deploy an international team of safety experts to visit the site and ensure nuclear material is being safeguarded.

“[And] there is a lot of nuclear material there to be inspected,” Grossi said.

“When you put this together, you have a catalog of things that should never be happening in any nuclear facility,” he added. “And this is why I have been insisting from day one that we have to be able to go there to perform this safety and security evaluation, to do the repairs and to assist as we already did in Chernobyl.”

Russia’s capture of Europe’s largest power plant has touched off fears about the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear fleet. Grossi, for his part, has repeatedly sounded alarms about the safety of the facility, warning earlier this summer that he has “grave concern” about working conditions at the plant and reiterated his concerns that IAEA experts have not been allowed to inspect the location physically.

Grossi said Wednesday that inspectors need to visit the site to carry out repairs and inspections and “to prevent a nuclear accident from happening.”

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“The IAEA, by its presence, will be a deterrent to any act of violence against this nuclear power plant,” Grossi said. “So I’m pleading as an international civil servant, as the head of an international organization, I’m pleading to both sides to let this mission proceed.”

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