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Saturday, May 18, 2024

IAEA team will ‘stay put’ in Zaporizhzhia N-plant: UN inspector


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Kyiv: International Atomic Energy Agency chief has said his experts “are staying put” at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, where both Russia and Ukraine have warned of potential catastrophe.

The UN nuclear agency experts late Thursday crossed into Russian-held territory in Ukraine and reached Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant.

The IAEA inspection team braved intense shelling to reach the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, arriving after a delay of several hours on Thursday in a large convoy with a heavy presence of Russian soldiers nearby.

“We are not going anywhere. The IAEA is now there, it is at the plant and it is not moving. It’s going to stay there,” IAEA head Rafael Grossi, who personally led the mission, told reporters after returning to Ukrainian-held territory.

He said a group of IAEA experts stayed behind at the plant and would provide an impartial, neutral and technically sound assessment of the situation.

“I worried, I worry and I will continue to be worried about the plant until we have a situation which is more stable, which is more predictable,” Al Jazeera quoted Grossi as saying.

Ukraine and Russia have accuse each other of creating a Chernobyl-like disaster-risk by shelling near the plant, where the situation has been unravelling in recent weeks.

Russia seized the plant early in the now more than six-month-old war.

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