IAEA chief Grossi in talks about the protection zone for the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

Dhe Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has expressed confidence in the prospects of agreeing a protection zone around Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Grossi said late Wednesday evening in New York that he had entered into "real negotiations" with Russia, whose troops are occupying Europe's largest nuclear power plant, and Ukraine. During the UN General Assembly he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. "The wheels are in motion."

Previously, Grossi had once again shared worrying news about what was happening around the nuclear power plant, whose six reactors could reach a net output of 5,700 megawatts. There was again shelling, which temporarily cut off the power supply to one of the reactors. IAEA personnel present at the site have been informed by the power plant's Ukrainian operator command that the shelling damaged cables leading to one of the six reactors.

Although all six reactors are currently shut down, they require an external power supply for cooling, otherwise there is a risk of a core meltdown. As a last resort there are diesel generators. These started automatically after the shelling and produced electricity for the affected reactor for 40 minutes until the power supply to a nearby thermal power station was restored.

Grossi said of his New York talks that there was not yet a concrete result. But he has the impression that there is a conviction on all sides that the establishment of such a protection zone is indispensable. The head of the Vienna-based organization from the UN family said that the situation around the Ukrainian nuclear power station had deteriorated further and was causing him "huge concern". "We have to decide that as soon as possible." He hopes that he will soon be able to travel to Ukraine and then to Russia to continue negotiations.

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