According to the Russian Foreign Ministry the United Nations cancelled an IAEA trip to the Zaporizhzia Nuclear Power Plant in occupied Enerhodar, Ukraine. In the last 48-96 hours the security situation at the plant has drastically deteriorated. Several explosions have knocked out high voltage power lines and threatened the safety of the plant, so much so that one of only three operational reactors has shut down after several failsafes were triggered.
The statement reads below:
“On June 3, the Russian side and the leadership of the IAEA Secretariat fully agreed on the route and schedule of the Agency’s international mission to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. IAEA Director General R. Grossi personally planned to lead this mission, which also included prominent specialists from a number of countries.
In the most close cooperation with the Agency, we managed to remove all the difficult issues related to the organization and conduct of such a difficult event in the current conditions. However, at the last moment, the “red light” was turned on by the Department of Security of the UN Secretariat. The trip was disrupted. This was used by the authorities in Kiev to strengthen their provocations and shelling of the nuclear power plant.
We hope that in the current situation, the UN Secretary-General will be fully aware of his responsibility and will not, through the Department of the Secretariat accountable to him or other parts of the UN mechanism, prevent the IAEA mission.
For our part, we are ready to provide the maximum possible assistance in resolving all organizational issues.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called for a release of the plant to Ukrainian control or at least a joint mission to secure the plant, but was denied. While there haven’t been any radiation level spikes, strategic messaging by both sides has highlighted the risk of a nuclear disaster. Three days ago Block 3 was reportedly de-energized, causing the reactors coolant system to run on emergency power. This caused the EU, IAEA, and several media outlets to condemn the Russian Federation, which maintain it was Ukraine engaged in nuclear terrorism.
On 4 March 2022, the nuclear and thermal power stations were both captured by Russian forces during the Battle of Enerhodar of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. As of 12 March 2022t he plant is reportedly controlled by the Russian company Rosatom. The plant continues to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.