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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant: Nuclear watchdog detects explosions near reactors

Monday, 21 November 2022, 00:57
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant: Nuclear watchdog detects explosions near reactors

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has described the shelling at the site of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on 19–20 November as "one of the most intense such episodes in recent months."

Source: IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine on 20 November

Quote: "Repeated shelling at the site of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) yesterday evening and this morning damaged buildings, systems and equipment, with some of the explosions occurring near the reactors."


Details: Radiation levels at the site remained normal and there were no reports of casualties. 

The ZNPP’s external power supplies, which have been knocked out several times during the conflict, were also not affected.

According to the IAEA experts, the ZNPP management reported damage in several places, including a radioactive waste and storage building, cooling pond sprinkler systems, an electrical cable to one of the reactors, condensate storage tanks, and to a bridge between another reactor and its auxiliary buildings.

"Once again, we were fortunate that a potentially serious nuclear incident did not happen. Next time, we may not be so lucky. We must do everything in our power to make sure there is no next time," IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said.

He added that he has been in active consultations with world leaders on the latest shelling at the ZNPP, and he is insisting that agreeing and implementing a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the ZNPP must happen now.

"Even though there was no direct impact on key nuclear safety and security systems at the plant, the shelling came dangerously close to them. We are talking metres, not kilometres. Whoever is shelling at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, is taking huge risks and gambling with many people’s lives," Director General Grossi said.

Previously: On the morning of 20 November, the IAEA experts reported that more than a dozen blasts occurred near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Several buildings on the grounds of the power plant were damaged.

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