Together with some members of his delegation, he left this largest nuclear power plant in Europe in the early evening and returned to the territory under the control of Kyiv. According to available information, several IAEA nuclear inspectors remained at the site occupied by the Russian invasion forces. At the same time, Grossi wants to establish a permanent presence of IAEA representatives in this nuclear power plant.
“The IAEA experts will remain at the Zaporizhia Power Plant. Today we looked at quite a lot, we started the first assessment, we will continue the analysis, but you should know that the IAEA experts remain at the plant,” Russia’s TASS agency quoted Grossi as saying. The BBC earlier quoted the head of the IAEA as saying that the mission would stay at the nuclear power plant until Saturday and then, according to him, “work on the permanent presence of its observers on the site of the power plant.”
Referring to its correspondent on the spot, Reuters wrote that four of the nine vehicles that the inspectors used to arrive at the facility left the site of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It is not entirely clear how many members of the expedition remained at the power plant.
According to Ukraine’s state-owned company Enerhoatom, five IAEA experts remain on site and will continue their work there, apparently until Saturday. According to the head of the Russian occupation administration of Enerhodar, Oleksandr Volha (in Russian transliteration Alexander Volga), eight to 12 nuclear inspectors have remained on site and will be accommodated in a hotel in Enerhodar. According to the DPA agency, a total of 14 inspectors were part of the IAEA mission.
According to CNN, Grossi said his team was able to gather “a lot” of information in a few hours. “I saw the key things I needed to see,” the head of the IAEA said in a video published by Russia’s RIA Novosti agency.
At around 18:30 SELČ, the Reuters agency, referring to its witness, reported that Grossi had arrived again in the territory controlled by Kyiv. The IAEA chief, meanwhile, posted a video on Twitter announcing the end of his visit to the plant, saying “much remains to be done” and his team remains in place. “The most important thing is that we ensure the continued presence of the IAEA,” he noted.
“I have and will continue to have concerns about the power plant until the situation becomes more stable and predictable. It’s clear that the plant and its physical integrity has been compromised several times, both accidentally (and) intentionally,” Grossi told reporters after visiting the facility, according to CNN. “Wherever you stand, whatever you think about this war. It is something that must not happen and that is why we are trying to establish certain mechanisms and (our) presence,” he added.
The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian invading troops since March, has been under fire in recent weeks. Ukraine and Russia blame each other for it. According to their boss, the goal of the expedition of international experts is to prevent a nuclear accident. According to earlier statements, the inspection was going to assess the physical damage to the power plant, the functionality of the safety systems and the working conditions of the employees and to take “urgent protective measures”.
A convoy of experts arrived at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is located near the front line, this morning. The start of the long-awaited inspection was delayed for several hours by military actions in the area and shelling, which Kyiv and Moscow blame each other for. Both sides are also guilty of provocations aimed at making the IAEA mission impossible.
The head of the Ukrainian state company Enerhoatom, which normally manages the plant, said today according to Reuters that the IAEA inspection will be successful if it leads to the demilitarization of the facility. Petro Kotin went on to say that Ukrainian authorities are making every effort to restart the fifth reactor, which Enerhoatom said was shut down this morning as a result of Russian shelling. Two of the six units of the power plant were in operation by that time. The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is still being kept running by Ukrainian employees, but they are under the supervision of Russian invasion units and experts.