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Director General’s Statement on Serious Situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant

Vienna, Austria

Today, I have learned from IAEA staff on the site of the serious situation that developed last night at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

The power infrastructure feeding the city of Enerhodar, home to the NPP’s operators and their families, has been destroyed by shelling of the switchyard at the city’s thermal power plant, leading to a complete power black-out in Enerhodar: no running water, no power, no sewage.

Given the increased and continued shelling, there is little likelihood of re-establishing reliable offsite power to the ZNPP, especially as the shelling continually and repeatedly damages the power infrastructure.

As a result, the IAEA understands that the operator, having no longer confidence in the restoration of offsite power, is considering shutting down the only remaining operating reactor. The entire power plant would then be fully reliant on emergency diesel generators for ensuring vital nuclear safety and security functions. And as a consequence, the operator would not be able to re-start the reactors unless offsite power was reliably re-established.

Furthermore, there are indications that, with the increasingly dire circumstances that the people of Energodar are facing, there is the significant risk of an impact on the availability of essential staff on site to continue to safely and securely operate ZNPP.

This is an unsustainable situation and is becoming increasingly precarious. Enerhodar has gone dark. The power plant has no offsite power. And we have seen that once infrastructure is repaired, it is damaged once again.

This is completely unacceptable. It cannot stand.

I therefore urgently call for the immediate cessation of all shelling in the entire area. Only this will ensure the safety and security of operating staff and allow the durable restoration of power to Enerhodar and to the power plant.

This dramatic development demonstrates the absolute imperative to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone now.

This is the only way to ensure that we do not face a nuclear accident.



Last update: 09 Sep 2022

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