Ukraine: Urgent agreement needed to end fighting around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

23 August 2022Peace and Security

Agreement is urgently needed to reestablish the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine as purely civilian infrastructure and prevent a potentially “catastrophic” disaster amid the ongoing conflict, UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Recent weeks have seen an escalation in shelling in and around Europe’s largest nuclear facility.

The Council meeting was requested by Russia, whose forces have occupied Zaporizhzhia since March, or shortly after the start of the war, while Ukrainian personnel continue to carry out their on-site operations.

‘Suicidal’ threat

Ms. DiCarlo reiterated the UN’s ongoing grave concern over the dangerous situation, recalling the Secretary-General’s appeals for common sense, reason and restraint, as well as dialogue.

“At this moment, it is imperative that we receive the expressed commitment of the parties to stop any military activities around the plant and to enable its continued safe and secure operations. To paraphrase the Secretary-General’s blunt warning, any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicidal,” she said.

The UN has again called for the parties to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with immediate, secure, and unfettered access to the nuclear plant.

Preparations for IAEA mission

IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi on Tuesday renewed his request to send a mission to carry out essential safety, security and safeguard activities at the site.

Ms. DiCarlo reported that preparations are proceeding, and the agency is in active consultation with all sides so the mission can be dispatched as soon as possible.

“We welcome Ukraine and Russia’s recent statements indicating support for the IAEA’s aim to send a mission to the plant, which would be IAEA’s first to that site since the start of the war,” she said.

The UN has also assessed that it has the logistics and security capacity in Ukraine to support any IAEA mission from Kyiv, provided Ukraine and Russia agree.

“We must be clear that any potential damage to the plant, or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, leading to a possible nuclear incident would have catastrophic consequences, not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond,” said Ms. DiCarlo.

“Similarly, any damage leading to the plant being cut from the Ukrainian power grid would have catastrophic humanitarian implications, particularly with winter approaching. As the Secretary-General has made clear, the electricity produced at the Zaporizhzhia plant belongs to Ukraine.”

More to follow on this story.

About admin

Check Also

JoyCollab is a Sims-like virtual office for remote workers

Two and half years into the pandemic, it’s clear that working from home is here …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *