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Russia waits for UN note on IAEA experts’ rotation at ZNPP in Ukraine — Rosenergoatom

"The date is not set. We are waiting for the note from the UN Department of Safety and Security," Renat Karchaa said

MELITOPOL, May 30. /TASS/. A date for the rotation of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has not been defined as of yet and Russia is waiting for an official note from the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Russia’s Rosenergoatom nuclear power engineering company, told TASS on Tuesday.

"The date is not set. We are waiting for the note from the UN Department of Safety and Security," he said.

Karchaa stressed that the UNDSS and the Ukrainian side "continued maintaining artificial tension, trying to exhaust us psychologically. But we have strong nerves."

The ninth team of IAEA experts was to arrive at the ZNPP on May 25. As Karchaa told TASS earlier, the rotation was postponed to May 26 at Ukraine’s initiative.

However, in his words, Russia had received no notification about the postponement from the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. He said that he did not rule out that Ukraine was plotting a provocation to slow down the process, "as it has already done."

On May 26, Karchaa said the process of the IAEA expert’s rotation was disrupted again due to Ukraine’s initiative.

The previous rotation of IAEA inspectors at the Zaporozhye NPP took place on April 27 without any conclusions made. The eighth group, made up of experts from Australia and Slovakia, was scheduled to be replaced by experts from Argentina, Ireland, and Morocco.

In early September 2022, the IAEA’s fact-finding mission, led by the agency’s director general, Rafael Grossi, visited the plant. After the mission’s departure, two staff members of the agency remained at the plant in the status of observers.

It was agreed at that time that several IAEA monitors would stay at the facility and would be replaced with a new group every month or so. All the rotations were carried out in due time, except for the one in February, which was disrupted a few times because of the UN Department of Safety and Security.

Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant situation

The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, located in the city of Energodar, has a capacity of about 6 GW and is Europe’s largest. It has been controlled by Russian troops since late February 2022. Since then, Ukrainian army units have periodically shelled both residential areas in Energodar and the premises of the NPP itself, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems.

An IAEA mission led by Director General Rafael Grossi traveled to the ZNPP in September 2022 and left several agency employees onsite as observers. Afterward, the agency published a report calling for the establishment of a safety zone around the ZNPP to prevent accidents arising from hostilities. The expert team at the ZNPP underwent its first rotation in October.

Grossi said on March 9 that the ZNPP had had its power supply fully cut off for the first time since November, and that it had enough diesel fuel for electric generators to last 15 days. He said eight out of 20 available generators were working to provide electricity to the plant, while others remain on standby.