UN inspectors arrive at embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
(Update 1: Adds detail, re-ledes, adjusts dateline, alters headline)
Lviv, Ukraine/Moscow, Sep 1 (EFE).- The team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday arrived at the besieged Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, a spokesman for the United Nations organization told Efe.
Ukraine’s nuclear energy firm Energoatom also confirmed the arrival of the mission led by IAEA’s director general Rafael Grossi.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which sits on the southern bank of the Dnieper river, is occupied by Russian forces but operated by Ukrainian technicians. The ongoing conflict in the region following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, sounded international alarm over a possible nuclear disaster.
Before making the last leg of the journey, Grossi spoke with reporters in the city of Zaporizhzhia, close to the front lines in southern Ukraine and roughly 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) from the nuclear plant.
“Having come so far we are not stopping, we are moving now, we know that there is an area, the so-called gray zone, where the last line of the Ukrainian defense comes and before the first line of the Russian occupying forces begin, where the risks are significant,” he said.
“At the same time we consider we have the minimum conditions to move accepting that the risks are very, very high.”
The team of 14 experts will carry out checks at the Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Grossi has said that the IAEA will consult with the Ukrainian personnel working under physical and psychological strain at the nuclear plant.
The IAEA also aims to install permanent representation at the complex.EFE