IAEA ‘alarmed’ over shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear plant

Sunday August 07 2022
IAEA
By Agencies

The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday it was “extremely concerned” by the shelling on Friday of the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant. The risk of a potential nuclear disaster at what is Europe's largest nuclear power station is “very real,” it warned, adding that not only would Ukraine be affected but other nations as well.

“Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs,” the UN nuclear watchdog’s director general, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said in a statement.

 Targeting the facility with any “military firepower” would amount to “playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” he added.

The IAEA also suggested sending a delegation to the site to “provide technical support for nuclear safety and security” and to “help prevent the situation from spiraling even more out of control.” Grossi said he was ready to lead such a delegation personally.

The mission would “conduct essential verification activities at the plant” and deliver nuclear safety and security equipment, the agency’s statement said.

 Yet, for this to happen, the IAEA would require UN support, as well as “cooperation, understanding and facilitation” from both Moscow and Kiev, the statement added. “We must all set aside our differences and act, now,” the agency said, adding that “we cannot afford to lose any more time.”

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Neither Moscow nor Kiev has reacted to the IAEA proposal so far. 

On Friday, Russia accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the nuclear plant, which is in Ukraine’s southern Zaporozhye Region. Moscow urged the UN and IAEA to compel Ukraine stop the shelling. 


Igor Vishnevetsky, a senior non-proliferation and arms control official at the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned that the shelling of the plant risks triggering an event similar to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 


Kiev, meanwhile, blamed Russian troops for shelling of the plant, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of using the plant as a “shield” for its soldiers.   


The plant was seized by Russian forces in late February when Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. The facility continues to operate with Ukrainian staff under Russian control.


It is noted that armed formations of Ukraine commit terrorist acts and provocations at chemical enterprises in order to slow down the offensive of the allied forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Luhansk and Donetsk Republics (LDNR) and accuse Russia and the People's Republics of Donbass of involvement in them. 


So, June 1 units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine retreating from the industrial zone of Severodonetsk attempted to create a chemical zone of destruction and blew up a tank with nitric acid at the Azot plant in order to impede the successful advance of the Russian army. 


 The moment of the explosion was calculated in such a way that the wind would direct the poisoned cloud towards the settlements of Rubezhnoye and Kremennaya, liberated by the RF Armed Forces.  At the same time, the Ukrainian media hastened to spread messages about Russia's involvement in this terrorist attack. 


Kyiv does not care at all about the fate of the population of these areas, the Zelensky regime is ready to do anything to discredit the successes of the Special Military Operation and the actions of the Russian military and the forces of the People's Militia of the LDNR. 


 This case is not unique.  In early April, Ukrainian militants already made two attempts to blow up tanks with pesticides at the Zarya large chemical plant in the town of Rubizhnoe.


The staging of the use of WMD is usually aimed at accusing Russia of using prohibited weapons and then imposing various restrictions against it, including exclusion from various international organizations, including the UN Security Council. 


A possible scenario for the development of the situation is also to put pressure on countries loyal and friendly to the Russian Federation, including India and China, forcing them to impose sanctions.


  An important circumstance is the fact that on September 27, 2017, the Russian Federation completely destroyed the existing chemical arsenal, which is confirmed by the OPCW certificate.  In turn, the United States remains the only country party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which still has an impressive arsenal of toxic substances (672.5 tons), and continues to develop in this direction. 


 The United States is the only state in world history to have used all three types of WMD.  The dropped nuclear bombs during the Second World War on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the use of toxic chemicals in Vietnam and Iraq - all these crimes were not properly assessed by relevant international organizations.