Nuclear Power

05 Mar 2024

IAEA's Grossi Plans to Discuss Zaporizhzhia Plant With Russia's Putin

05 Mar 2024  by reuters   

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi holds a press conference on the opening day of a quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2024. REUTERS/Lisa Leutner Purchase Licensing Rights
U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said on Monday he intends to discuss Russia's plans for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant it is occupying in Ukraine when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.

Grossi is due to leave for Russia on Tuesday, he told a press conference on the opening day of a quarterly meeting of his agency's 35-nation Board of Governors at which envoys from various countries marked, opens new tab the second anniversary of Russian forces seizing the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Grossi's trip to Russia has long been planned. He originally intended to go there last month after a trip to Ukraine.

"There are issues related to the future operational status of the plant. Is it going to be started or not? What is the idea? What is the idea in terms of the external power supply lines, since what we see is extremely fragile and thin?" Grossi said when asked what he would discuss with Putin.

Zaporizhzhia, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, has lost its connection to all its external power lines eight times in the past 18 months, forcing it to rely on diesel generators for essential functions like cooling fuel in its reactors to avoid a potentially catastrophic meltdown.

While one of its main power lines is currently functioning and its six reactors are in shutdown, which reduces the operational risk, the International Atomic Energy Agency says the situation at the plant remains precarious.

Although Grossi stopped short of spelling out that he would meet Putin, he said: "It's the idea...This is the intention."

He left open what other issues might be discussed.

"I would not be coming with a fixed list of items. As it happens, when I have a meeting with a world leader that has responsibilities, and in particular a nuclear-weapon possessor state, permanent member of the Security Council, I cannot exclude that other things are discussed," he said.

More News