IAEA Chief Calls For “Maximum Restraint” Over Zaporizhzhia Attacks

IAEA Chief Calls For “Maximum Restraint” Over Zaporizhzhia Attacks

VIENNA, Apr 12 (NNN-XINHUA) – The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), yesterday called for “maximum restraint,” after Sunday’s drone attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), which he said have significantly increased the risk of a nuclear accident.

“Direct attacks against the ZNPP marked a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers in Ukraine,” IAEA Director-General, Rafael Grossi, told a special meeting of the agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors.

The meeting was convened at the request of Russia and Ukraine, to discuss the attacks on ZNPP, which hit the reactor dome of Unit 6 of the plant, and caused at least one casualty. They were the first attacks since Nov, 2022, to directly target the ZNPP.

Although Grossi said that Sunday’s attacks “fortunately did not compromise nuclear safety in a serious way,” he noted that another drone attack on the ZNPP on Tuesday was “an ominous indication of an apparent readiness to continue these attacks.”

The IAEA chief called on military decision-makers to abstain from any action violating the IAEA’s principles, to prevent a nuclear accident and ensure the integrity of the ZNPP. He also urged the international community to work towards de-escalating the situation at the plant, and said, he would brief the United Nations Security Council on the matter next week.

Russia and Ukraine have both accused the other of staging the attacks on the ZNPP. Kremlin Spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said on Monday that, the recent shelling of the plant was “a very dangerous provocation,” with negative consequences. However, Ukraine has denied any involvement in the drone attacks.

The IAEA has not taken a position on who was to blame.

The ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, with a total capacity of six gigawatts. At the end of Feb, 2022, Russia took control of the facility.– NNN-XINHUA


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