IAEA mission to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was “ineffective”

A senior Ukrainian official says the government is still waiting for a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and has suggested the IAEA mission is “ineffective.”

“We do not understand whether everything is normal there in terms of safety, cooling of the reactors, with the personnel, whether they understand the algorithms by which they work. We did not see all this in the report, and this proves that international institutions, unfortunately, are completely ineffective,” Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Head of the President’s Office of President of Ukraine, told Ukrainian television Monday.

Podolyak said there should be a “nuclear audit” the plant, which included “a certain number of people who know nuclear physics and engineering technologies” working next to Ukrainian staff.

While occupied by Russian forces, the plant is run largely by Ukrainian technicians.

“There are Russian troops who do not understand what is happening there, they do not assess the risks correctly. But there is a certain number of our workers there who need some kind of protection, to have people from the international community standing next to them,” Podolyak said.

The weekend appears to have passed relatively quietly in the area around the plant, which has seen persistent shelling for weeks, some of which has damaged the plant’s infrastructure, according to the IAEA.

On Friday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said the organization knows “much more” about the state of the plant after its visit last week. A team of inspectors will have “continued presence” at the plant, Grossi said.

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