With the past week seeing an escalation of shelling in and around Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in Ukraine, which is Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the United Nations and peace builders across the world has called for re-establishing the Nuclear Power Plant as purely civilian infrastructure and prevent a potentially “catastrophic” disaster amid the ongoing conflict.
Russia took over the nuclear facility and deployed its military personnel and weaponry at the facility. Ukraine says Russian troops are launching attacks from the facility and Russia on the other hand alleged that Ukraine are shelling the place.
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; IAEA TEAM
After bmonths of rising tension, a team of UN atomic energy experts set out on Auguist 29 for Zaporizhzya nuclear power station in Ukraine.
In a tweet, International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA head Rafael Grossi said that he was proud to lead the agency’s Support & Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzya Nuclear Plant. “The day has come…to protect the safety and security” of the plant,” which is Europe’s largest,” Grossi wrote, his comments accompanying a photograph of himself and 13 other IAEA staff, ahead of their mission.
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; UN SECURITY COUNCIL
UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on August 23 said, “agreement is urgently needed to re-establish the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine as purely civilian infrastructure and prevent a potentially “catastrophic” disaster amid the ongoing conflict.
DiCarlo reiterated the UN’s ongoing grave concern over the dangerous situation, recalling the Secretary-General’s appeals for common sense, reason and restraint, as well as dialogue.
“At this moment, it is imperative that we receive the expressed commitment of the parties to stop any military activities around the plant and to enable its continued safe and secure operations. To paraphrase the Secretary-General’s blunt warning, any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicidal,” she said.
“All military personnel and equipment must be withdrawn from the plant, and there should be no further deployment of forces or equipment to the site. The facility must not be used as part of any military operation, and an agreement on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the area should be reached,” she said.
“We must be clear that any potential damage to the plant, or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, leading to a possible nuclear incident would have catastrophic consequences, not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond,” said DiCarlo.
“Similarly, any damage leading to the plant being cut from the Ukrainian power grid would have catastrophic humanitarian implications, particularly with winter approaching. As the Secretary-General has made clear, the electricity produced at the Zaporizhzhia plant belongs to Ukraine.”
The UN has again called for the parties to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with immediate, secure, and unfettered access to the nuclear plant.
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
Warning of the potential danger to the area and beyond amid ongoing shelling, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for immediate stopping of military activities around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant in Ukraine. “I am calling for all military activities in the immediate vicinity of the plant to cease immediately and not to target its facilities or surroundings,” Guterres said in a statement
“Regrettably, instead of de-escalation, over the past several days there have been reports of further deeply worrying incidents that could, if they continue, lead to disaster,” he said.
“I urge the withdrawal of any military personnel and equipment from the plant and the avoidance of any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site. The facility must not be used as part of any military operation. Instead, urgent agreement is needed at a technical level on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the area.”
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; IAEA
Pointing out that the situation at Zaporizhzhia has deteriorated rapidly to the point of becoming “very alarming, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Mariano Grossi on Tuesday renewed his request to send a mission to carry out essential safety, security and safeguard activities at the site.
Earlier, he had said that military actions near such a large nuclear facility could lead to very serious consequences. He said that on 5 August, the Zaporizhzhia plant was subjected to shelling, which caused several explosions near the electrical switchboard and a power shut down. He said that the preliminary assessment of IAEA experts indicate that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety as a result of the shelling or other military actions.
However, “this could change at any moment,” Grossi cautioned.
ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT: EUROPEAN UNION
Condemning the activities, European Union said that the deployment of Russian military personnel and weaponry at the nuclear facility is unacceptable.
In a statement, the EU said “We urge the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its military forces and all other unauthorised personnel from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, its immediate surroundings, and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and the legitimate operating staff can conduct their duties without outside interference, threat, or unacceptably harsh working conditions. This will also enable the IAEA to carry out its verification pursuant to Ukraine’s safeguards obligations under safe and secure conditions and in a timely manner.”