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Peace and Security

URGENT: Stop Attacking Ukrainian Nuclear Sites Immediately, Says UN Nuclear Watchdog


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The head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency reiterated that attacks against nuclear power plants in Ukraine are “an absolute no go”, following direct military action targeting the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on Sunday.

Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the targeting marked a “major escalation” in the level of danger facing the power plant.

It was the first time since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in November 2022 that the ZNPP – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – has been directly targeted. It has been occupied by Russian forces since the early weeks of the fighting.

As of Sunday, while there were “no indications” of damage to critical nuclear safety or security systems, the strikes were “another stark reminder” of the threats to the power plant and other nuclear facilities during the ongoing war, IAEA said. 

“Although the damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, this was a serious incident that had the potential to undermine the integrity of the reactor’s containment system,” Director General Grossi said.

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‘A major escalation’

“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Mr. Grossi said.

Reiterating that no one can “conceivably benefit” or get any military or political advantage from attacks against nuclear facilities, he stressed such attacks are “an absolute no go”.

I firmly appeal to military decision makers to abstain from any action violating the basic principles that protect nuclear facilities.

At least one casualty

According to IAEA, after receiving information from the ZNPP about the drone attacks, its experts stationed at the site went to three affected locations.

They were able to confirm the physical impact of the drone detonations, including at one of the site’s six reactor buildings where surveillance and communication equipment appeared to have been the target.

While they were at the roof of the reactor, Russian troops engaged what appeared to be an approaching drone, the agency said, adding that this was followed by an explosion near the reactor building.

“The IAEA team reported that they observed remnants of drones at this and two other impact locations at the site. At one of them, outside a laboratory, they saw blood stains next to a damaged military logistics vehicle, indicating at least one casualty,” it said.

IAEA experts further reported hearing explosions and rifle fire on the site throughout the day. The team also heard several rounds of outgoing artillery fire from near the plant.

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13 Comments

  1. ‘A major escalation’“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya

  2. ‘A major escalation’“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. It is crucial to urgently halt all attacks on nuclear sites to prevent catastrophic consequences.”

  3. ‘A major escalation’“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya”

  4. Isn’t there a risk of radioactive leaks if the attacks on the nuclear power plants continue?

    1. Yes, BeckyJohnson123, there is a significant risk of radioactive leaks if the attacks on the nuclear power plants persist. The situation is extremely serious and must be addressed immediately to prevent a catastrophic disaster.

  5. Is there any information on how the UN is planning to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant moving forward?

    1. Emily Johnson, the UN has laid out a comprehensive plan to enhance security measures at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant to prevent further attacks. They are working closely with Ukrainian authorities and international partners to ensure the safety of the plant and minimize the risks posed by ongoing military actions.

  6. Is there any information on whether the attacks caused any structural damage to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant?

    1. Yes, according to the latest update from the IAEA, there are currently no indications of damage to the critical nuclear safety or security systems at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. However, these attacks serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing threats to nuclear facilities in Ukraine during this war.

  7. As a nuclear safety professional, it’s crucial that we heed the warning from the UN nuclear watchdog. We must cease all attacks on Ukrainian nuclear sites immediately to prevent a catastrophic disaster.

  8. ‘A major escalation’“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. It’s crucial to immediately stop attacking Ukrainian nuclear sites to prevent catastrophic consequences.

  9. This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. It is crucial that all military attacks targeting nuclear sites in Ukraine cease immediately to prevent a catastrophic incident.

  10. ‘A major escalation’“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhya

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