IAEA: drone strikes on Zaporizhia NPP are “a serious escalation of threats to nuclear security”

МАГАТЭ: удары беспилотников по ЗАЭС – «серьезная эскалация угроз ядерной безопасности»

The head of the IAEA during a visit to Zaporizhia NPP. Photo from the archive IAEA: drone strikes on Zaporizhia NPP are “a serious escalation of threats to nuclear security” Peace and security

The territory of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in Ukraine was attacked by drones on Sunday. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi called it “a serious incident that compromised nuclear safety.”

Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has become a direct target of military action for the first time since November 2022.

Major escalation

“This is a serious escalation of the nuclear safety threats faced by the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must be stopped immediately,” the IAEA Director General said.

The agency says there are signs of damage to critical nuclear or security systems was not found on site. However, the strikes were another reminder of the ongoing threats to Zaporozhye NPP and other nuclear facilities during armed conflict.

“As I have stated on numerous occasions, including in the Security Council and the Board of Governors IAEA, attacks on nuclear facilities will not bring any benefit or advantage to anyone. It is absolutely impossible to attack a nuclear power plant,” Grossi said.

Consequences of explosions

IAEA experts stationed at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant were able to confirm the physical consequences of drone explosions, including in one of the six reactor buildings, where surveillance and communications equipment apparently came under attack. While the experts were on the roof of the reactor of the sixth power unit, Russian troops engaged an approaching drone. This was followed by an explosion near the reactor building.

The IAEA team reported that they saw blood stains near the damaged military vehicle, indicating at least one casualty.

Experts also reported hearing explosions and gunfire at the scene throughout the day. In addition, the IAEA team heard several artillery shots coming from the immediate vicinity of the station.

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Head of the IAEA: nuclear facilities in Ukraine remain “extremely vulnerable”

IAEA specialists recorded minor surface burnout of the roof reactor dome of the sixth power unit and damage to the concrete slab supporting water storage tanks. However, they found no structural damage to systems important to the nuclear safety of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. could undermine the integrity of the reactor’s protective systems,” Grossi said.


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