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Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, travels to Ukraine and calls for the departure of Russian troops from nuclear power plants

The CEO of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Argentine Rafael Grossi, called on Wednesday for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian nuclear plants.

Grossi met on Wednesday with officials from the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant to discuss how the UN can help prevent an atomic accident in the country attacked by Russia.

Russian troops occupy the Ukrainian nuclear power plants at Chernobyl and Zaporizhia.

“This problem must be considered at various levels. Obviously, we hope that the ceasefire is close and that the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia contribute to peace,” said the Argentine diplomat.

According to the director of the IAEA, the situation experienced by the hijacking of nuclear power plants it is critical and infrequent: “No one will forget what is happening here,” he said.

“Representatives from many countries approached us with proposals to provide support through our organization,” he added.

According to the director of the IAEA, the situation that exists due to the hijacking of nuclear power plants is critical and infrequent. Photo: AP

Hours earlier on Twitter, Grossi had reported on his trip to Ukraine. “I am at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant to meet with Ukrainian government officials and personnel, and to begin IAEA technical assistance for the safety of the country’s nuclear facilities.”

In the brief message, the Argentine diplomat highlighted the importance of his trip to Ukraine in order to advance in the implementation of measures to secure the nuclear power plants of the attacked country, both the four operational ones and the Chernobyl one, which does not generate energy but contains important radioactive waste.

It is “vital to be on the ground to provide effective support to Ukraine in these extremely difficult times,” he said.

Grossi thanked the personnel who work at the plant he was visiting for their “resistance and recovery capacity” in the midst of the tense situation that the country is going through, immersed in a war since the Russian invasion on February 24.

“The staff of all Ukrainian nuclear facilities deserves all the respect and admiration for keeping facilities operating safely in the midst of conflict,” he said.

The IAEA – the entity of the UN system in charge of ensuring the peaceful use of atomic energy – claims to have prepared concrete plans on safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

Grossi thanked the staff working at the plant he was visiting for their "resilience and resilience".  Photo: AP via IAEA

Grossi thanked the staff working at the plant he was visiting for their “resilience and resilience.” Photo: AP via IAEA

Fifteen reactors

The country has fifteen reactors in the four operating plants and also manages radioactive waste in Chernobyl, where in 1986 the largest nuclear accident in history occurred.

The UN nuclear agency has expressed on numerous occasions its great concern about the impact that the war may have on some of the country’s nuclear facilities.

The Russian troops that have invaded Ukraine control both Chernobyl and Zaporizhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

Those two facilities have suffered damage during the Russian attack and power outages that Ukrainian personnel were later able to repair.

EFE

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