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IAEA mission arrives in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia for inspections at nuclear power plant

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IAEA mission arrives in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia for inspections at nuclear power plant
ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine

A mission from the UN’s nuclear watchdog arrived in the southern Zaporizhzhia city of Ukraine on Wednesday to inspect Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team, headed by IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi, arrived in the city center of Zaporizhzhia, controlled by the Ukrainian army.

Speaking to reporters in a hotel, Grossi said the team will head to the power plant for inspections on Thursday.

He also added that “everything has been agreed” with the Russian side on the inspections.

Russia also confirmed the team’s arrival, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova telling reporters that Moscow was doing everything necessary to ensure that the IAEA mission reaches the plant safely.

Earlier in the day, the team had departed from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

“We are finally moving after six months of strenuous efforts,” Grossi told reporters in Kyiv.

Grossi and his team arrived in Ukraine on Monday for inspections at the nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March.

Fears of a nuclear catastrophe have grown as the area has been shelled multiple times in recent days, with Russia and Ukraine blaming each other.

Grossi said the team would “be spending a few days” at the facility.

“These are complex operations. We are going to a war zone … (and) occupied territory. This requires explicit guarantees, not only from Russia but also Ukraine, and we have been able to secure that,” he said.

The IAEA is also hoping to set up a permanent mission in Ukraine to monitor Zaporizhzhia power plant, he added.  

*Writing by Ceyhun Alizade from Ankara


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