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IAEA chief says no mines observed at Zaporozhye nuke plant

On June 22, ahead of Rafael Grossi’s visit to Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Moscow of plotting a terrorist attack on the nuclear facility

TOKYO, July 5. /TASS/. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found no signs of activity aimed at mining the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in the course of its latest inspections, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Japan.

Although "no mines were observed" during the recent inspections, we will continue to remain vigilant, he underscored. Grossi also pledged to provide regular updates, as, he said, there is active combat quite close to the nuclear power plant.

On June 22, ahead of Grossi’s visit to Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Moscow of plotting a terrorist attack on the nuclear facility. He informed the United States, Brazil, India and China, as well as European, Middle Eastern and African countries about this alleged plot but provided no evidence to back up his allegations. Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko said that Ukraine would hold drills and organize crisis centers "in case of a possible radiation leak from the ZNPP." Among other regions, exercises were held in the Dnepropetrovsk and Nikolayev regions, as well as in Kiev-controlled areas of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted these allegations as yet another lie. According to Renat Karchaa, adviser to the CEO of Russian nuclear power corporation Rosenergoatom, Zelensky’s statements may indicate that Kiev is plotting to mount a terrorist attack or strike on the ZNPP in a bid to drag NATO fully into the conflict.

On June 23, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at a UN Security Council meeting that Moscow was highly concerned about Kiev’s increasingly shrill allegations that Russia is booby-trapping the ZNPP. According to him, the IAEA mission that recently visited the facility could see for themselves the utter absurdity of such allegations.

Located in Energodar, the Zaporozhye nuclear facility, with roughly 6GW of capacity, is the largest of its kind in Europe. Russia took control of the plant on February 28, 2022, in the first days of its special military operation in Ukraine. Since then, units of the Ukrainian army have periodically conducted shelling both of residential districts in nearby Energodar and the premises of the nuclear plant itself, by means of drones, heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS).