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UN’s nuclear chief warns ‘we are living on borrowed time’ after two landmine explosions near Europe’s largest atomic power station in Ukraine

  • UN has often expressed fears over the safety of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant 
  • Two landmine explosions took place outside plant’s perimeter this month
  • Russian forces took control of the six-reactor plant in Ukraine in March last year

Daily Mail, By ARTHUR PARASHAR, 14 April 2023 

A UN nuclear chief has warned ‘we are living on borrowed time’ after two landmine explosions near Europe’s largest atomic power station in Ukraine.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has repeatedly expressed fears over the safety of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant.

……….. We are living on borrowed time when it comes to nuclear safety and security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,’ Mr Grossi said yesterday.

‘Unless we take action to protect the plant, our luck will sooner or later run out, with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment,’ he added.

Two landmines exploded outside the plant’s perimeter fence – the first on April 8, and another four days later on Wednesday, according to the statement.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blasts, it said.

Grossi met senior Russian officials in Kaliningrad last week and prior to this with Zelensky in Zaporizhzhia to discuss a safety plan.

He also warned yesterday that the plant continued to depend on a single still-functioning power line, posing ‘a major risk to nuclear safety and security’.

A back-up power line damaged on March 1 has still not been repaired, the IAEA said.

It added that the staffing situation at the plant remained ‘complex and challenging’, in part because of staff shortages.

Last month, Grossi warned that a nuclear disaster was very possible due to the ‘perilous’ situation at the plant.

‘The plant’s lack of access to the grid and necessary repair work on its last emergency power line could cause a complete loss of power, making it reliant on diesel generators for the seventh time since Russia captured it,’ Grossi said at the time. 

I once again call for a commitment from all sides to secure nuclear safety and security protection at the plant,’ he added.

Emergency diesel generators had been activated to power the plant’s safety systems, according to Ukrainian nuclear energy agency Energoatom, which has warned of the risk of an accident.

Without the electricity produced by these generators, the overheating of the reactor fuel could cause a nuclear accident, as in Japan’s Fukushima in 2011……………………………………..more

April 15, 2023 - Posted by | safety, Ukraine

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