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Russia: 'Station at risk of nuclear accident' - Rosatom director general on latest Zaporozhye plant shelling06:57

Russia: 'Station at risk of nuclear accident' - Rosatom director general on latest Zaporozhye plant shelling

Russian Federation, Sochi
November 21, 2022 at 15:55 GMT +00:00 · Published

Director-General of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev told about the risk of a nuclear accident at Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) due to the recent shellings, speaking on Monday to the media on the sidelines of the Atomexpo forum in Sochi.

"We are simply informing the international community that the plant is at risk of a nuclear accident. And it is obvious that Kiev considers a small nuclear incident acceptable. Large or small, radioactivity will not ask Kiev [about the scale]. It will be a precedent that will change forever, God forbid of course, forever the course of history in Europe. That is why everything must be done so that not just the shelling stops, so that no one would have any thoughts of encroaching on the safety of the nuclear plant," Likhachev said.

He also claimed that the resumption of strikes on the ZNPP had been discussed with representatives of the IAEA 'practically all night'.

Likhachev went on to say that further resolution of the situation would largely depend on the activity of IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi and Washington's approval.

For his part, Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto noted the importance of the country's cooperation with Rosatom.

"It's obvious that nuclear [power] is the cheapest, safest, and most environmentally way of generating energy and that’s why this is our national interest to continue the nuclear co-operation with Rosatom and to make two new reactor blocks operating by 2030," Szijjarto said.

On Sunday the Russian Defence Ministry reported on the resumed shelling at the ZNPP.

According to the ministry, over 20 large-calibre shells were fired at the plant by the Ukrainian side on November 19-20.

In its turn, the Ukrainian company Energoatom posted on its Telegram channel that the shelling of ZNPP territory had been conducted from the Russian side, on Sunday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Sunday confirmed the shelling. A statement published on the agency's website said that 'more than a dozen explosions were heard within a short period of time'.

"Citing information provided by plant management, the IAEA team said that some buildings, systems and equipment at the ZNPP site had been damaged, but none of them was yet critical to nuclear safety. No casualties have been reported. IAEA experts are in close contact with site management and will continue to assess and report on the situation," the statement reads.

The agency's head Rafael Grossi also commented on the incident.

"The news from our team yesterday and this morning is extremely disturbing. Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable. Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire," the agency quoted Grossi.

Both Russia and Ukraine, repeatedly accused each other of shelling the plant, starting in July.

Earlier, on September 1, an IAEA commission led by Rafael Grossi arrived at the Zaporozhye NPP, where a team of experts set up a 'permanent presence'.

According to the IAEA's official website, the agency's Board of Governors adopted a resolution on September 15 calling on Russia to 'halt all actions against the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and any other nuclear facility' in Ukraine.

For his turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on September 15, called the adopted resolution 'important' and stressed the need to demilitarise the station and "immediately withdraw all Russian military from there".

On September 16, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's representative to international organisations in Vienna, called the document 'anti-Russian' and said it was drafted 'unprofessionally'.

On October 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with IAEA head Rafael Grossi that Russia was 'open to this dialogue'.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the city of Energodar, where Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is located, was taken under the control of the Russian Armed Forces on February 28.

Russia: 'Station at risk of nuclear accident' - Rosatom director general on latest Zaporozhye plant shelling06:57
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Director-General of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev told about the risk of a nuclear accident at Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) due to the recent shellings, speaking on Monday to the media on the sidelines of the Atomexpo forum in Sochi.

"We are simply informing the international community that the plant is at risk of a nuclear accident. And it is obvious that Kiev considers a small nuclear incident acceptable. Large or small, radioactivity will not ask Kiev [about the scale]. It will be a precedent that will change forever, God forbid of course, forever the course of history in Europe. That is why everything must be done so that not just the shelling stops, so that no one would have any thoughts of encroaching on the safety of the nuclear plant," Likhachev said.

He also claimed that the resumption of strikes on the ZNPP had been discussed with representatives of the IAEA 'practically all night'.

Likhachev went on to say that further resolution of the situation would largely depend on the activity of IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi and Washington's approval.

For his part, Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto noted the importance of the country's cooperation with Rosatom.

"It's obvious that nuclear [power] is the cheapest, safest, and most environmentally way of generating energy and that’s why this is our national interest to continue the nuclear co-operation with Rosatom and to make two new reactor blocks operating by 2030," Szijjarto said.

On Sunday the Russian Defence Ministry reported on the resumed shelling at the ZNPP.

According to the ministry, over 20 large-calibre shells were fired at the plant by the Ukrainian side on November 19-20.

In its turn, the Ukrainian company Energoatom posted on its Telegram channel that the shelling of ZNPP territory had been conducted from the Russian side, on Sunday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Sunday confirmed the shelling. A statement published on the agency's website said that 'more than a dozen explosions were heard within a short period of time'.

"Citing information provided by plant management, the IAEA team said that some buildings, systems and equipment at the ZNPP site had been damaged, but none of them was yet critical to nuclear safety. No casualties have been reported. IAEA experts are in close contact with site management and will continue to assess and report on the situation," the statement reads.

The agency's head Rafael Grossi also commented on the incident.

"The news from our team yesterday and this morning is extremely disturbing. Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable. Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire," the agency quoted Grossi.

Both Russia and Ukraine, repeatedly accused each other of shelling the plant, starting in July.

Earlier, on September 1, an IAEA commission led by Rafael Grossi arrived at the Zaporozhye NPP, where a team of experts set up a 'permanent presence'.

According to the IAEA's official website, the agency's Board of Governors adopted a resolution on September 15 calling on Russia to 'halt all actions against the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and any other nuclear facility' in Ukraine.

For his turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on September 15, called the adopted resolution 'important' and stressed the need to demilitarise the station and "immediately withdraw all Russian military from there".

On September 16, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's representative to international organisations in Vienna, called the document 'anti-Russian' and said it was drafted 'unprofessionally'.

On October 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with IAEA head Rafael Grossi that Russia was 'open to this dialogue'.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the city of Energodar, where Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is located, was taken under the control of the Russian Armed Forces on February 28.