A visiting delegation from nuclear regulator the International Atomic Agency is on its way to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after arriving in the city yesterday. It plans to spend a few days at the plant, which has been occupied and controlled by Russian forces since the first days of the war.

Meanwhile, Russian occupation forces are doing everything possible to disrupt the visit.

The latest shelling hit an area between the second and third reactors. Satellite images of the Maxar Technologies company confirm this. Ukrainian authorities have said that Russia is trying to disrupt the visit by the IAEA mission by simulating combat operations in the nearby town of Enerhodar and shelling the area near the plant.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on August 31 that the IAEA mission has “started important work, the importance of which have not been seen in the entire history of the organization.”

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“We highly appreciate the efforts of IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and his team aimed at ensuring the nuclear safety of our state and the world due to the extraordinary threats resulting from the actions of the Russian military at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant”, Halushchenko said.

Halushchenko noted that the conclusions and recommendations based on the mission’s results would be implemented when the station is returned to the control of Ukraine. “The station must return to the full control of Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia NPP is a Ukrainian nuclear power plant, and only Ukraine can guarantee the fulfillment of all components of operational safety,” he emphasized.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met Rafael Mariano Grossi on August 30.

Zelensky praised the arrival of the IAEA mission, as the situation around the nuclear power plant is intensifying, and Russia, whose troops are present illegally at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, is blackmailing the world with a new nuclear catastrophe.

Zelensky stated that “This is an important mission, and we are doing everything to ensure that it is carried out in a safe and fully operational way. Unfortunately, Russia is not stopping provocations precisely in those areas from which the mission is supposed to arrive at the station. I hope the IAEA mission can begin its work.”

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He also underlined that “the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and in Enerhodar, surrounding areas, remains extremely threatening.”

The IAEA delegation consists of 14 international inspectors from Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, China, Albania, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, and North Macedonia. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi heads the mission.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has reported that the IAEA mission would focus on three tasks: physical protection, nuclear safety, and guarantees on non-proliferation of nuclear materials.

Zaporizhzhia NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

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