Ukraine: Experts begin evaluation at Zaporizhia NPP

A team of international experts has started work at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

Ukraine: Experts begin evaluation at Zaporizhia NPP

A team of international experts has started work at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. "We looked at a lot today and started the first assessment," said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, according to the Russian news agency Interfax in front of journalists. "For me, the work begins now."

The experts also want to continue working in the nuclear power plant. The representative of the Russian occupiers, Vladimir Rogov, said on Russian state television that the inspectors should stay at least until Saturday.

Permanent mission?

The IAEA wants to establish a permanent mission in the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, Grossi said in a video statement published on Twitter on Thursday evening.

"I've just completed a first tour of the key areas," Grossi said in the video. There is still a lot to do. Nine experts, including Grossi, left the site after several hours in the afternoon and are heading back to Ukrainian territory, five stayed on site at the power plant for further investigations.

Russia had previously shown itself open to a permanent IAEA mission at the power plant. Kyiv, on the other hand, insists on the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and a demilitarization of the power plant area. The IAEA mission should represent the first step. Grossi said on Wednesday that the inspection should initially take several days.

Foreign Minister Lavrov: "We expect objectivity

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had previously reaffirmed Moscow's willingness to support the observer mission. "We expect objectivity from this," said the minister in Moscow. Russia wants to present itself as a responsible user and operator of the nuclear power plant - and at the same time Ukraine as the culprit for the shelling. Ukraine, on the other hand, sees the mission as an opportunity to demilitarize the zone around the nuclear power plant. This could mean a first step towards re-establishing control over one's own territory.

With six reactors and a capacity of 5700 megawatts, the nuclear power plant is the most powerful nuclear plant in Europe. The area and the associated town of Enerhodar were conquered by the occupying forces shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression. Since then they have been controlled by a Moscow-based military administration. However, the power plant itself will continue to be operated by Ukrainian specialists.

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