IAEA Chief Concerned About Situation at Zaporizhzhya NPP

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The head of the IAEA, after visiting Zaporizhzhia NPP, expressed concern over intensifying military activity around the plant’s territory. Rafael Grossi also claims that the depleted uranium shells pose no radiological hazard. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who visited the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on Wednesday, March 29, expressed concern about the current situation there. “It is obvious that the situation is not improving. On the contrary, the military activity around this territory is increasing,” Russian media quoted him as saying at a press conference. “All possible measures must be taken to protect the station from any attacks”. This is the second time Rafael Grossi has visited the largest nuclear power plant in Europe since Russia occupied it. The IAEA said the purpose of his visit was an on-site assessment of the gravity of the nuclear safety situation. During a visit to the plant while leading a team of 18 IAEA officials, Grossi said the agency is developing a safety concept for the ZNPP. “Initially we focused on the possibility of creating a certain zone around the plant,” he said, adding that the concept is now evolving which is more about the safety itself and the aspects to be avoided. “I’m trying to prepare and propose realistic measures that can be agreed upon by all parties,” the IAEA director general stressed. According to him, a nuclear accident would spare no one. “We have to avoid it. As an optimist, I think it is possible,” he added. Rafael Grossi did not comment in substance on the reports about the deliveries of depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, but said that the use of such weapons had been studied at the IAEA for quite a long time and that they pose no radiological hazard. The IAEA delegation spent about three hours on the territory of Zaporizhzhia NPP and then left the plant, Interfax reports.