IAEA member countries call on Russia to abandon Zaporiyia nuclear power plant

Most member countries of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday issued a joint statement from Vienna calling on Russia to abandon the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporiyia.

As the letter wields, the “military occupation” of the plant “significantly raises” the risk of a nuclear accident or incident, which “endangers the population of Ukraine, neighboring states and the international community.”

“The Russian military and the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom must suspend all activities at the nuclear power plant and return control to the Ukrainian authorities,” the decision-making body has demanded, DPA has reported.

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Of the 35 countries represented on the body’s Board of Governors, 26 voted in favor of the resolution, seven abstained and three others voted against, including Russia and China.

The Russian and Ukrainian authorities have accused each other over the past weeks of endangering the Zaporiyia power plant with artillery shelling, while the IAEA has sent an inspection mission to assess the situation.

The Zaporiyia power plant is the largest in Europe and has six reactors commissioned between 1984 and 1995. It has been controlled by Russian forces since March of this year, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

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