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IAEA Report Describes Extensive Damage at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi speaks to reporters after his return from Ukraine, where he and his team visited the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, at Vienna airport, in Schwechat, Austria, Sept. 2, 2022.
Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi speaks to reporters after his return from Ukraine, where he and his team visited the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, at Vienna airport, in Schwechat, Austria, Sept. 2, 2022.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that the continued attacks on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are “unacceptable,” and he urged a demilitarized area in and around the facility.

“We are playing with fire, and something very, very catastrophic could take place,” Rafael Mariano Grossi warned during a video briefing to the U.N. Security Council. “This is why in our report we are proposing the establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone limited to the perimeter and the plant itself.”

He said the IAEA is ready to start immediate consultations with the parties with concrete steps for setting up such a zone.

The IAEA chief issued a report earlier Tuesday following the mission he led last week to the power station. In it, he and his team describe extensive damage at the plant, but they did not assign blame. Russia, whose forces have controlled the facility since early March, and Ukraine, whose engineers operate the plant, have each accused the other of shelling the facility.

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