Kiev, 31 August 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left Kiev early Wednesday morning for the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied region of southern Ukraine.
“We will be spending a few days there,” IAEA chief and head of mission Rafael Grossi announced before leaving Kiev. He said he and 13 experts were there to stabilize the situation as much as they could.
The IAEA chief hopes to hold talks with the power plant’s Ukrainian staff during the visit.
Grossi stressed that his team had received all the necessary safe passage guarantees for the long journey to the war zone, some 450 kilometres from Kiev.
“We are going into occupied territory and this requires the explicit guarantees, not only from the Russian side, but also from the Republic of Ukraine,” he stressed before setting off in a convoy of 10 white SUVs with UN markings.
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe. It has a net output of 9,500 megawatts and boasted over 10,000 employees before the war began. The plant was occupied by Russian troops shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began at the end of February.
In recent weeks, the power plant has come under frequent fire, for which Kiev and Moscow blame each other, triggering international concern about a possible nuclear catastrophe.