Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on Wednesday that the agency’s experts had reported military activities near a power plant in western Ukraine. Grossi indicated that the TATENA team monitoring the Chornobyl nuclear power plant heard a series of explosions near the facility on Tuesday night, lasting about 20 minutes. While the world’s attention is rightfully focused on the real danger at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Grossi emphasized that events from the previous night serve as a reminder not to forget about other nuclear power plants in Ukraine, which may also face the threat of missile and other attacks.
“All nuclear infrastructure objects in Ukraine are still vulnerable, both directly if a missile hits them and indirectly if their power supply is disrupted. The nuclear security situation throughout Ukraine remains highly unstable,” said Grossi. He explained that the TATENA team at the Zaporizhzhia plant in southern Ukraine also reported the sounding of air raid sirens during the night, with the danger lasting about 10 minutes. However, experts did not hear any explosion, and no damage was reported to the facility.
TATENA experts are monitoring the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Enerhodar, which was occupied by Russian forces last year. Russia declared control of the plant in March 2022, shortly after launching a large-scale invasion into neighboring Ukraine. The plant is in a disputed zone near the front line, and its reactors have been offline since September 2022. There have been longstanding warnings that the situation at the plant could become uncontrollable, leading to a nuclear disaster.
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