11/21/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/21/2022 12:40
An expert team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today assessed the extent of damage caused by intense shelling over the weekend at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. 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, the Director General said.
The four IAEA nuclear safety, security and safeguards experts currently staying at the site were briefed by management and then conducted an extensive visit of Europe's largest nuclear power plant to assess first-hand the physical impact of shelling that occurred on Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning, in one of the most serious such incidents at the facility in recent months, Director General Grossi said.
The status of the six reactor units is stable, and the integrity of the spent fuel, the fresh fuel and the low, medium and high-level radioactive waste in their respective storage facilities was confirmed, the team said.
Nevertheless, the IAEA experts still observed widespread damage across the site. "This is a major cause of concern as it clearly demonstrates the sheer intensity of the attacks on one of the world's largest nuclear power plants," Director General Grossi said.
The team's observations included damage to condensate storage tanks that caused non-radioactive leaking, 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.
Operating and maintenance staff have already begun repairing some of the damage and plant personnel are also cleaning up the site following the weekend attacks, the IAEA team said.
The IAEA team also reported that there had been no further attacks on the plant overnight or so far today, though there had been shelling in the area of the nearby city of Enerhodar and the industrial area.
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.
In the wake of the renewed attacks, the Director General intensified his consultations aimed at establishing a protection zone at the plant.