IAEA mission leaves Zaporozhye nuclear plant – media
A delegation from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has left the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ukraine, TASS reported on Monday.
Renat Karchaa, a Russian nuclear expert who accompanied the mission, says two of its members will remain at the facility. Last week, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who also inspected the plant, claimed that the agency would “establish a continued presence” there.
According to the Russia 24 TV channel, the IAEA will publish its findings on Tuesday. “All their conclusions will be reflected in the report, which, as preliminary information suggests, is planned for release for tomorrow, when Rafael Grossi will deliver his remarks,” the outlet said.
The mission left the facility earlier than expected. Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russia-controlled military-civilian administration, told RIA that IAEA experts would continue working at the facility throughout Monday, before leaving on Tuesday, saying that they may even extend their mission.
At the time, he said that the delegation “has been provided with all possible assistance. We are interested in an objective and balanced assessment of the situation at the NPP”.
The main goal of the IAEA mission at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was to assess the state of the facility and speak to both Russian and Ukrainian personnel on the ground. During the inspection, Grossi confirmed that the plant, which has been under Russian control since March, had sustained some damage. However, he refrained from assigning blame.
Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the plant, while warning that further shelling could trigger a disaster on a par with Chernobyl. Kiev insists, however, that it is Russia’s forces who are shelling the area while stationing military hardware there.
On Thursday, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine launched a raid in an apparent bid to capture the station prior to the arrival of the IAEA delegation, but the attack was thwarted. Later, according to the ministry, Moscow prevented another raid by Kiev’s special forces and foreign mercenaries, who tried to land on the coast of the Kakhovka reservoir not far from Energodar, the city where the nuclear plant is located.