The world is on “the last line of defence against a nuclear accident,” concerning the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.
That’s according to the Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, who has outlined five principles to prevent a nuclear disaster.
During the war, Zaporizhzhya has lost power seven times due to attacks during the war, with emergency diesel generators needed to stop it faltering entirely.
On the situation so far, Mr Grossi said: “We are fortunate that a nuclear accident has not yet happened. We are rolling a dice and if this continues then one day, our luck will run out. So, we must all do everything in our power to minimise the chance that it does.”
The five principles include suspending all further attacks on the plant, not using it to store artillery or heavy weapons, maintained protection of off-site power, ensured safety of systems and components from sabotage and no military personnel present at the site.
“These principles are to no one’s detriment and to everyone’s benefit. Avoiding a nuclear accident is possible. Abiding by the IAEA’s five principles is the way to start,” the Secretary-General said.
Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya commented: “In the current conditions, Russia intends to take all possible measures to strengthen the safety and security of the power plant in accordance with our national legislation and our obligations under relevant international legal instruments to which our country is a party.”
Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya responded: “We reiterate that by illegally occupying Zaporizhzhya and making it an element of its military strategy, Russia has violated all key international principles of nuclear safety and security and the vast majority of its obligations under international treaties.”
He then called for all Russian troops to be removed immediately from the plant.
The Russian Ambassador stated that no attacks have ever been carried out from the territory of the facility.