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UN Conducts Emergency Visit to Ukraine’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant

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THE UNITED NATIONS has sent a group of atomic inspectors to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in view of the damage left by the fighting in the area, which has caused significant destruction to transmission lines and fires in part of the plant’s facilities.

Since March, Russian troops have been controlling the Zaporizhzhia Plant. During the first days of the invasion, heavy fighting raged around the plant’s facilities. At present, shelling around the plant takes place relatively frequently.

Russian troops have placed depots of military equipment at the nuclear power plant facilities, while allowing Ukrainian personnel to assist the plant in carrying out its operations.

With a capacity to power more than 4 million homes, the Zaporizhzhia Plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and before the outbreak of the war provided up to one-fifth of Ukraine’s electricity consumption.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday that a team led by its director general, Rafael Grossi, arrived in Ukraine to make an assessment of the damage caused by the fighting near the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

Although the shelling did not impact the plant’s reactor complexes, multiple water pipelines were destroyed by the fighting at the plant’s facilities. However, a full assessment of the damage could not be made.

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Russian troops have been occupying the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant since March (EFE).

This is the most important visit of the IAEA since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986, which also occurred in Ukraine. The Zaporizhzhia plant has almost 6 times the capacity of Chernobyl.

As a result of Russian troops being in its facilities, the Zaporizhzhia plant became the first nuclear power plant in history to be occupied by an invading country.

On Thursday, the company that operates the nuclear plant announced that the Zaporizhzhia reactors were disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid due to a fire caused by Russian shelling.

Although two of the reactors were reconnected to the power grid, the other four remain offline, according to an IAEA statement.

The bombing hit an area within a radius of fewer than 100 meters from the reactors of the nuclear power plant. Among the buildings hit by the bombing were the plant’s water treatment facility, equipment repair shop and waste management facilities.

All radioactivity measurements are within normal ranges and there is no indication of any leakage of hydrogen, an essential element for cooling the temperature of nuclear reactors.

According to Grossi’s statements, “The latest shelling once again underlined the risk of a potential nuclear accident at the ZNPP.”

The Ukrainian government has accused Russia of intentionally shelling the town of Enerhodar on Monday, where the nuclear plant is located to generate what it called a “propaganda image” blaming Ukraine for attacks on the power plant.

The visit of the IAEA expert group comes amid the start of the Kherson offensive, an attempt by the Ukrainian army to recapture territories in the south of the country.

Economist, writer and liberal. With a focus on finance, the war on drugs, history, and geopolitics // Economista, escritor y liberal. Con enfoque en finanzas, guerra contra las drogas, historia y geopolítica

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