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IAEA to keep experts permanently at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-09-03 08:08
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Photo taken on Aug 22, 2022 shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. [Photo/Xinhua]

VIENNA -- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi said Friday that two of the agency's experts would remain permanently at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Grossi told reporters upon arriving in Vienna after a visit to the facility that six of the 14-member IAEA mission remained at the Zaporizhzhia plant after the team completed a visit there on Thursday.

Four of the six experts will leave the plant next week, while the other two will stay there as the agency's continued presence in the longer term.

Earlier this week, Grossi led the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia plant, which suffered strikes in recent weeks and raised international concerns about its safety.

The chief of the UN nuclear watchdog said at Friday's press conference that "We've seen what I requested to see, everything I requested to see" during the visit.

"We have seen military activity around the plant, and I was able to see -- myself and my team -- impact, holes, markings on buildings of shelling," he said, expressing concerns for the plant's physical integrity, power supply and personnel conditions.

Grossi said he expects to produce a report on the situation of the Zaporizhzhia plant early next week. He will also brief the UN Security Council on the issue next Tuesday.

The Zaporizhzhia plant, one of Europe's largest nuclear power plants, has been controlled by Russian forces since early March, but its Ukrainian staff has continued to operate it. Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations of recent strikes on the facility.

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