8 Aug 2022 10:19

UN secretary general backs IAEA's effort with regard to Zaporizhzhya NPP

HONG KING. Aug 8 (Interfax) - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the immediate halt of attacks on the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and for the access of international inspectors to the site in a statement on Monday.

"Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing," Guterres said at a press conference in Japan, where he attended a ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

"Well, we fully support the IAEA in all their efforts in relation to creating the conditions of stabilization of that plant," Guterres said, adding that IAEA inspectors must have access to the site and exercise their competences.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi expressed concern about the attacks on the Zaporizhzhya NPP and the readiness to lead a mission of IAEA safety, security and safeguards experts to the site.

Meanwhile, regional administration head Yevgeny Balitsky said that the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is working normally despite the recent shelling.

"For now, we have information from the military and representatives of Russia's Rosatom, who are stationed here and are monitoring the situation. They have told us everything is normal and two reactors are running at lower capacity," Balitsky said on the Rossiya 24 television channel (VGTRK).

The site is under control of "Russian bodies," he said.

The Enerhodar authorities have reported several attacks on the Zaporizhzhya NPP and the infrastructure used by plant personnel. There were several strikes on the site on Friday. The Russian Defense Ministry said the attacks could have caused a man-made catastrophe.

The Zaporizhzhya NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It operates six VVER-1000 reactor units, the first of which was put in operation in December 1984 and the sixth in October 1995.

Currently, Russian forces are partially in control of the Zaporizhzhya region as a result of the special military operation in Ukraine.