IAEA warns that attacks on a nuclear plant in Russian-controlled Ukraine put the world at risk

FILE - The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, is seen in the background of the shallow Kakhovka Reservoir after the dam collapse, in Energodar, Russian-occupied Ukraine, Tuesday, June 27, 2023. Officials at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant said that the site was attacked Sunday April 7, 2024, by Ukrainian military drones, including a strike on the dome of the plant’s sixth power unit. (AP Photo/Libkos, File)

UNITED NATIONS — Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame before the United Nations Security Council for the attacks on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said have put the world “dangerously close to a nuclear accident.”

Without attributing blame, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said his agency has been able to confirm three attacks against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant since April 7.


“These reckless attacks must cease immediately,” he told the Security Council. “Though, fortunately, they have not led to a radiological incident this time, they significantly increase the risk … where nuclear safety is already compromised.”

The remote-controlled nature of the drones that have attacked the plant means that it is impossible to definitively determine who launched them, Grossi told reporters after the meeting.

“In order to say something like that, we must have proof,” he said. “These attacks have been performed with a multitude of drones.”

Zaporizhzhia sits in Russian-controlled territory in southeastern Ukraine and has six nuclear reactors.

Fears of a nuclear catastrophe have been at the forefront since Russian troops occupied the plant shortly after invading in February 2022.

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