Experts given access to two units at Russian-held site

The Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in southern Ukraine.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says it has found no explosives in areas of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in southern Ukraine to which it had requested access a month earlier.

The agency said its staff at the six-unit nuclear facility saw no mines or explosives on the rooftops of Unit 3 and Unit 4 reactor buildings and the turbine halls after having been given access on 3 August.

The agency’s director-general Rafael Grossi said following repeated requests, the IAEA team had unimpeded access to the rooftops of the two reactor units and could also clearly view the rooftops of the turbine halls.

“The team will continue its requests to visit the roofs of the other 4 units at Zaporizhzhia,” an IAEA statement said.

On 4 July, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of planning to stage an attack on Europe’s biggest nuclear power station, with the latter claiming “operational data” showed “explosive devices” had been placed on the roofs of two units.

The following day the IAEA, which has repeatedly warned of nearby military clashes potentially causing a nuclear disaster, said access to the roofs of the two units and parts of the turbine halls was essential.

A small IAEA team based at the station sought to verify the accusations by inspecting areas of the site to which it had already been granted access.

It issued updates in the ensuing weeks to say it had found no signs of explosives in those areas, except mines outside the perimeter that appeared to pose no danger to the station’s safety.

Date: Tuesday, 08 August 2023
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