Zelensky says fighting continues in Donetsk region and infighting in Russia is ‘clear sign of defeat’

Cooling towers at the Rivne nuclear power plant in Varash, Ukraine.
Cooling towers at the Rivne nuclear power plant in Varash, Ukraine. (Michael Robinson-Chavez/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency will travel to Ukraine next week to install resident safety experts at all of the country’s nuclear power plants.

“Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will visit Ukraine next week to establish a continuous presence of nuclear safety and security experts at all nuclear power facilities in the country, significantly strengthening the IAEA’s efforts to help prevent nuclear accidents The efforts of the accident occurred during the current military conflict, according to a statement by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

While IAEA team members are already on site at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, experts will also be stationed at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant in western Ukraine “in the coming days”. The IAEA said Grossi would travel to southern Ukraine and the Rivne nuclear power plant — as well as Chernobyl — to set up the mission of two IAEA members at each plant.

Grossi will also meet with senior Ukrainian government officials in Kyiv to discuss the creation of a repeatedly called nuclear safety and security sanctuary around Zaporozhye. Kyiv accused Russia of using the plant as cover for an attack, knowing Ukraine could not fight back without risking hitting one of the plant’s six reactors. Meanwhile, Moscow claimed that Ukrainian forces were targeting the site.

“I remain determined to make the much-needed protected area a reality as soon as possible. My consultations with Ukraine and Russia are progressing, although not as fast as they should be. I still hope we can agree and implement the area as soon as possible,” Grossi said .

According to the statement, the last remaining 330 kV backup power line at the Zaporizhzhia power plant has been reconnected to the power plant after last week’s outage.

Grossi also “reiterated his serious concerns about the pressure on ZNPP staff, which could have implications for nuclear safety and security,” the statement said.

“The reduction in ZNPP personnel combined with the psychological stress of the ongoing military conflict and the absence of family members who fled the area has created an unprecedented situation that no NPP employee should have to endure,” he said.

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