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EU calls on UN watchdog to protect nuclear power plants in Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Surveillance camera footage shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after the Enerhodar shelling
FILE PHOTO: Surveillance camera footage shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after shelling amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Enerhodar, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine, March 4, 2022, in this screenshot from video sourced from social media. Zaporizhzhya NPP via YouTube via REUTERS

March 7, 2022

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has asked the UN nuclear guardian to protect Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, two of which are now under Russian control, and to mobilize international aid in an emergency, according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

Russian forces have seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, and the Chernobyl spent fuel and radioactive waste facilities next to the now-defunct power plant that witnessed the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986.

“I… urge the IAEA to do its utmost to ensure the nuclear safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities under the current wartime conditions,” EU energy chief Kadri Simson wrote in a letter to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Rafael Grossi.

Russia “should immediately cease its violent actions against Ukraine and, as a priority, return all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities under Ukraine’s full operational and regulatory control,” said the March 4 letter provided to Reuters.

Ukrainian authorities said Russian forces took control of Zaporizhia on Friday after setting fire to a neighboring training center. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Ukrainian saboteurs for the attack.

Russian forces have since placed staff operating the facility under their command and restricted communications with the outside world – developments the IAEA said on Sunday it was “extremely concerned”.

While the Zaporizhzhia fire was quickly extinguished and the reactors sustained no damage, it raised concerns about the potentially catastrophic consequences should the conflict damage any of Ukraine’s four operating nuclear power plants.

Simson called on the IAEA to mobilize the international community “to be ready to provide emergency assistance to Ukraine.”

Ukrainian power producer DTEK on Sunday called on Western countries, NATO and the UN to implement no-fly zones over Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

The EU is preparing to urgently connect Europe’s power system to Ukraine’s grid, which would allow Ukraine to get emergency power from Europe should military attacks cause power outages.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Alex Richardson)

https://www.oann.com/eu-asks-u-n-watchdog-to-safeguard-ukraines-nuclear-plants/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eu-asks-u-n-watchdog-to-safeguard-ukraines-nuclear-plants EU calls on UN watchdog to protect nuclear power plants in Ukraine

Bobby Allyn

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