12 Jul 2023 19:36

IAEA experts continue inspection at Zaporozhye NPP, say no evidence of mines being planted

BRUSSELS. July 12 (Interfax) - IAEA experts have continued to inspect the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and have not yet recorded any attempt to plant mines there, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

"IAEA experts have in recent days continued to inspect parts of Ukraine's Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant without seeing any mines or explosives," the statement said.

The experts "are still waiting to gain the necessary access to the rooftops of reactor units 3 and 4 following recent reports that explosives may have been placed there," IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said, adding that "the nuclear safety and security situation remains very precarious."

IAEA experts at the Zaporozhye NPP have heard several explosions but were unable to determine the exact locations of the explosions, it said. The experts confirmed that the explosions did not affect the plant, it said.

The IAEA has continued to monitor the availability of water for cooling the six reactors of the power plant. Water supply from main sources have remained relatively stable, with water levels dropping by 1-2 centimeters daily due to consumption and evaporation, it said.

On July 7, Grossi said that IAEA experts were "able to get more access" in recent days.

On July 5, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the situation at the ZNPP is rather tense, and that the threat of sabotage by the Ukrainian authorities with catastrophic consequences is high.

Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Rosenergoatom, denied the statement of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky about explosives on rooftops of the ZNPP's power units.

Earlier, Karchaa said that he has information on Ukraine's intention to attack the ZNPP in Energodar in the early hours of July 5. Together with this, it is also planned to drop from an aircraft a munition carrying radioactive waste taken from the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant on July 3. Measures are being taken at the ZNPP to protect the facility over the available information, he said.