Rosatom denies plans of full control over Zaporozhye NPP: IAEA

Surveillance camera footage shows a flare landing at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during shelling in Enerhodar, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine on 4 March 2022, in this screengrab from a video obtained from social media.Reuters

Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev has assured the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Russia had no plans of taking Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) under full control, reports BSS quoting Russian news agency TASS.

“Ukraine has told IAEA: Russia plans to take full and permanent control of Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant under Rosatom management,” the organisation said in a Twitter post on Sunday night. “Rosatom Director General in call with IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi denied such intention.”

Likhachev also “denied that Rosatom had taken operational control nor that it intended for the plant to be under Rosatom’s ‘management system,’” the organisation said.

According to the statement, the Rosatom chief also informed that “work was being carried out to restore the lost power lines” of the station, “but in a way not to put at risk the existing supplies.” Therefore additional fuel supplies for back-up diesel generators were being brought in, in case they would be needed.

On 12 March, Russia notified IAEA that the “management and operation of the Zaporozhskaya and Chernobyl NPPs is carried out by the Ukrainian operating personnel.” “A group of several Russian experts provides them consultative assistance,” the document says.

Earlier, the IAEA reported that Ukraine notified the agency about the loss of control over the Chernobyl NPP and the Zaporozhye NPP. There were also reports of fire targeting spent nuclear fuel reservoirs near Kiev and Kharkov, the IAEA said.

For the time being, no radioactive threat has been detected. In this regard, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi urged to ensure safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and prevent radioactive pollution.