IAEA Team Visits Ukraine Nuke Plant; To Have Continued Presence There

A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has finally visited the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which has constantly been under attack by Russian forces.

The UN nuclear agency’s delegation, headed by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, arrived at Zaporizhzhia on Thursday.

All but a small team of five inspectors of the IAEA mission left the plant after visiting the facilities. The IAEA chief Grossi vowed the agency would have a continuing presence at the plant.

Grossi said at a news conference that he would be reporting to the IAEA Board of Governors. “Then we are establishing a continued presence there…so that they can continue to provide me and all of us with the impartial, neutral, technically sound assessment of whatever it may be happening there,” he told reporters.

Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said the Russian forces are making every effort to prevent the International Atomic Energy Agency mission from getting to know the facts on the ground at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Ukrainian and Russian agencies continue to accuse each other of trying to subvert the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency to safeguard the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The Ukrainian nuclear power provider, Energoatom, accused the Russia of trying to prevent the UN agency mission from getting to know the facts on the ground.

“The Russian military lies, manipulates and misrepresents reality at Zaporizhzhia NPP by disseminating only information on the IAEA mission visit it could benefit from,” it said Friday.

But pro-Russian officials in the occupied area are blaming the Ukrainians for blocking the IAEA’s work.

Ukraine says dangerous heavy weapons are stored in the area of the nuclear facility, but Russia denies it.

The IAEA has not been able to visit Zaporizhzhia since the conflict began six months ago. Europe’s largest nuclear facility has been controlled by Russian forces since early March, but the Ukrainian staff is continuing to operate the plant.

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