Attacks on Ukraine’s nuclear plant put world at risk, IAEA warns

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said attacks against Europe’s largest nuclear power plant have put the world “dangerously close to a nuclear accident”.

Without attributing blame, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said his agency has been able to confirm three attacks against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant since 7 April.

“These reckless attacks must cease immediately,” he told the Security Council on Monday. “Though, fortunately, they have not led to a radiological incident this time, they significantly increase the risk … where nuclear safety is already compromised.”

The remote-controlled nature of the drones that have attacked the plant means that it is not possible to determine who launched them, Grossi told reporters after the meeting.

“In order to say something like that, we must have proof,” he said. “These attacks have been performed with a multitude of drones”.

Zaporizhzhia sits in Russian-controlled territory in southeastern Ukraine and has six nuclear reactors.

Fears of a nuclear catastrophe have been at the forefront since Russian troops occupied the plant shortly after invading in February 2022. Continued fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces – as well as the tense supply situation at the plant – have raised the risk of a disaster.

Ukraine and its allies on Monday blamed Russia for dangers at the site. Russia, for its part, said Ukraine was to blame for the attacks.

“The IAEA’s report does not pinpoint which side is behind the attacks,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said. “We know full well who it is.”

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