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Update 112 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, said he will engage in consultations with the relevant authorities following reports today that Russia plans to supervise operations of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

Director General Grossi will be in Kyiv this week, and later in the Russian Federation, where he will also continue talks aimed at agreeing and implementing a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible. The ZNPP – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – is held by Russian forces but operated by its Ukrainian staff.

The Director General has repeatedly expressed grave concern about the extremely stressful and challenging working conditions at the ZNPP during the current military conflict. One of the seven nuclear safety and security pillars he outlined in March states that “operating staff must be able to fulfil their safety and security duties and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressure”.

Separately today, IAEA experts at the site learnt that the ZNPP plans to restart one of its six reactors which are currently all in cold shutdown. Senior Ukrainian operating staff informed IAEA experts present at the ZNPP that preparations are under way to start unit 5 at reduced power to produce steam and heat for the needs of the plant. It will take some time to complete all preparations, including those related to necessary systems and equipment, before reactor operations can resume.  

The ZNPP’s last operating reactor – unit 6 – was shut down on 11 September. It had provided the ZNPP with electricity for cooling and other essential safety functions since 7 September, when the plant lost all external high voltage power supplies. But the operator shut down the reactor after the restoration of external power to the plant.

The IAEA team also reported that there had been shelling yesterday in an industrial area located between the ZNPP and the town of Enerhodar, but the plant site itself was not affected.




Last update: 07 Oct 2022

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