The situation around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is becoming “increasingly dangerous,” said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi on the agency’s website. In particular, he warned of the security risks because surrounding towns are being evacuated.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, warned on Saturday of the danger of a “serious nuclear accident” at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which is occupied by Russia. With the evacuation of a nearby town where most of the Akw employees live, Grossi said the situation in the area around the plant was becoming “more and more unpredictable and potentially dangerous.”
“This large nuclear facility must be protected,” demanded the IAEA chief. He will continue to press for all parties to commit to this important goal, and the IAEA will “continue to do everything in its power to help guarantee the security and nuclear safety of the headquarters,” Grossi said.
The IAEA experts on the site of the power plant would monitor the situation closely to “detect any possible impact on safety,” emphasized Grossi.
Russian authorities had announced the evacuation around the nuclear power plant
The mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said in the online service Telegram that the “evacuation” announced by the Russian authorities was happening too quickly. Very long queues had formed at the Schongar checkpoint on the road from Melitopol to Crimea. Since Friday, buses would depart every 20 to 30 minutes.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is not affected by the partial evacuation of the Zaporizhia region, as the plant manager appointed by the Russian authorities, Yuri Chernichuk, announced on Saturday.
On Friday, Moscow-appointed head of administration for the Zaporizhia region, Yevgeny Balitsky, ordered the partial evacuation of 18 Russian-held locations in the Zaporizhia region, including Energodar, where the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located. Affected are families with children, the elderly, the disabled and patients in hospitals. Balizki justified this by saying that there had been an increase in Ukrainian bombing raids in the past few days.
The Russian news agency Tass, citing another occupation administration official, reported that the Russian authorities planned to evacuate around 70,000 people from locations in the region.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been controlled by the Russian army since March 2022. It was repeatedly shelled, fueling fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
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