Over 50 IAEA delegations unite to hold Russia accountable for safety threats at occupied ZNPP

Zaporizhzhya NPP
Zaporizhzhya NPP

54 delegations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supported a statement prepared by Ukraine on threats to nuclear and radiation safety posed by Russia, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry reported on May 22.

For the first time in history, Russia, as an IAEA member state, deliberately attacked and seized control of peaceful nuclear facilities belonging to another IAEA member state, i.e. Ukraine.

"We condemn Russia's seizure and militarization of ZNPP, which could lead to serious consequences for nuclear safety," the statement reads.

“Russia's deliberate disregard for international law, its presence and actions at ZNPP, and its attacks on Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure continue to endanger Ukraine and the wider region. We call for continued efforts to hold the Russian Federation accountable for its threats to nuclear safety.”

Read also: ZNPP units in cold shutdown; radiation levels unchanged, Russian-appointed ‘management’ claims

Ukraine's Energy Minister German Halushchenko noted that this is another step by the civilized world to oust Russia from the field of nuclear technology, where it "held the lead even after the brazen crime against the world's nuclear safety." The next step will be sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry.

"In addition, Russia must comply with the requirements of four resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors and the resolution of the IAEA General Conference of 2023 on the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and other unauthorized personnel from the Zaporizhzhia NPP," Halushchenko said.

The joint statement of the IAEA member states also emphasizes the importance of "seven indispensable pillars of nuclear safety and security during armed conflict" and the need to comply with five specific principles for ZNPP, which were announced by the Director General of the UN Security Council, taking into account the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The signatory countries also emphasized the importance of the work of the IAEA and its Director General Rafael Grossi in preventing a nuclear accident in Ukraine. The war, however, hinders the IAEA's ability to implement safeguards in Ukraine more effectively.

Drone attack on Zaporizhzhya NPP

IAEA observers reported on April 7 that a drone had exploded on the groudns of the Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Prior to that, Russian propaganda media wrote that the plant was allegedly attacked by a drone. They showed photos of the drone's wreckage and stated that there was no threat to the plant. Ukraine was traditionally blamed for the attack.

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Directorate representative Andriy Yusov said on April 9 that the Russians had again faked an FPV drone strike on the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP to accuse Ukraine of attacking the plant.

Greenpeace reported that during the Russian attack on ZNPP, the drones were probably launched from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.

Read also: Security deteriorating at Russian-seized ZNPP, HUR reports

Russians are preparing to conduct a false flag provocation at Zaporizhzhya NPP, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine warned on April 14.

The International Atomic Energy Agency again reported on April 18 that the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP had been attacked by drones. The attack caused no damage or casualties.

ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It has been under Russian occupation since March 2022.

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