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IAEA expert team to Zaporozhye NPP says ‘no immediate nuclear safety concerns’

The IAEA team reported damage to condensate storage tanks at the power plant that caused non-radioactive leaking

VIENNA, November 21./TASS/. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have found no immediate threat to nuclear safety despite widespread damage across the site, says a statement uploaded to the agency’s website on Monday.

"An expert team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today assessed the extent of damage caused by intense shelling over the weekend" to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. "They were able to confirm that - despite the severity of the shelling - key equipment remained intact and there were no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns," it said.

The IAEA team reported damage to condensate storage tanks at the power plant that caused non-radioactive leaking.

"The team’s observations included damage to condensate storage tanks that caused non-radioactive leaking," the statement said. Besides, IAEA experts reported "several impacts on the main road along the plant’s reactors as well as on a site railway that is out of service, a pressurised air pipeline hit by shrapnel, two impacts on the roof of a special auxiliary building, minor visible damage to a sprinkler charging pipeline, as well as two impacts in a guardhouse area," it said.

"Senior site management separately informed the IAEA team that four of the ZNPP’s reactors remained in cold shutdown and two in hot shutdown, continuing to produce steam and hot water for the site and Enerhodar, where many plant workers and their families live," the statement went on to say.

The Russian defense ministry said earlier that after a two-month pause Ukrainian troops had resumed shelling attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. At least 25 shells were fired at the plant on November 19-20 alone. One of the shells hit the roof of special building No.2, which holds nuclear fuels. The attack was repelled by retaliatory fire. The radiation background around the plant is within norms.

The Zaporozhye nuclear plant is Europe’s biggest nuke plant in operation. Russia took control of it in late February, shortly after the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine. Ever since, the plant has come under shelling by Ukrainian troops more than once. The plant was visited by an IAEA mission in early September, leaving several employees as observers. After the visit, the organization issued a report calling for creating a security zone around the ZNPP to prevent possible emergencies due to combat operations.