NOS News•today, 17:13•Amended today, 17:26
UN nuclear watchdog IAEA says urgent measures are needed to prevent a nuclear accident at Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. Such an accident can be caused if the plant, which is located in territory occupied by Russia in Ukraine, is damaged by weapons. The IAEA delegation has already identified damage, including close to the reactors.
For example, there is damage to the building for nuclear fuel and to the storage facility for solid radioactive waste, writes the nuclear watchdog in a report. The building with the central alarm station was also damaged.
Furthermore, the IAEA has seen Russian soldiers, vehicles and equipment in several places. IAEA says a nuclear safety zone is urgently needed and that it is ready to start consultations on this. The United Nations has long advocated demilitarization of the area.
‘Constant high stress and pressure’
A nuclear accident could potentially cause serious radiation that is very harmful to the health of people in Ukraine and beyond, the IAEA writes. The team arrived last week, claiming the goal of preventing a nuclear accident.
The IAEA also points out that Ukrainian employees at the nuclear power plant work under “constant high stress and pressure”, especially given the limited available staff. “This is not sustainable and could lead to more human error with implications for nuclear safety.”