IAEA Director General wants to visit Zaporizhzhya NPP at the invitation of Ukraine. Energoatom denies requesting this
7 June, 2022

Energoatom is outraged by the statement of the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi that Ukraine allegedly invited him to visit the Zaporizhzhya NPP. The facility is currently controlled by the Russian occupiers. Grossi is accused of lying in his June 6 statement.

"When we have the largest nuclear power plant in Europe disconnected from the safeguards systems, we better do something else... So we are going to Zaporizhzhya. As requested by Ukraine," said the IAEA Director General.

According to him, a week ago the Ukrainian government called on him to lead a mission to ZNPP, so now the organization is working on a mechanism that would allow such a mission. Grossi also reported pressure on Ukrainian plant workers and failure to supply spare parts to the plant.

Ukraine's reaction

Energoatom, the operator of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, stated that Grossi was lying. It is said that the Ukrainian side did not invite Grossi to visit ZNPP, and even refused him such a visit — because it will be possible to visit the station only after it returns to Ukrainian control.

"We consider this message from the head of the IAEA as another attempt to get to ZNPP by any means to legitimize the stay of the occupiers there and in fact, to approve all their actions," Energoatom said in a statement posted on Telegram.

They also explain that the loss of the Zaporizhzhya NPP's connection with the IAEA was caused by the actions of the Russians, who disconnected the Ukrainian mobile operator Vodafone in the city of Energodar, with which the IAEA has a data transfer contract. All data collection points and servers under the control of the agency are closed and sealed. The information is stored on the server and will be transferred when Vodafone starts up again.

"It is very likely that the russian side, with the prior consent of the IAEA, made sure that the Agency 'lost control' without access to this information, and therefore the IAEA Director General would have a reason to come to the power plant," the company said.

Earlier, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine criticized the IAEA for the lack of a clear position and effective response to acts of nuclear terrorism by Russia. Director General Grossi was accused of parroting Russian propaganda that Ukraine was allegedly preparing to manufacture nuclear weapons. The Ukrainian side denied that the nuclear power plant seized by the occupiers contained reserves of plutonium and enriched uranium.

This position of the IAEA may be influenced by the fact that a quarter of the agency's management — about 100 people — are Russians, according to Energoatom. Grossi's deputy, head of the Nuclear Energy Department, Mikhail Chudakov, is also Russian.

Capture of Zaporizhzhya NPP

On the night of March 4, the occupiers began firing on one of the power units of the Zaporizhzhya NPP. As a result, a fire broke out in the training building of the NPP, which was later suppressed. Currently, the Russian occupiers remain on the territory of the NPP, but the station staff monitors the condition of the power units.

On April 27, it emerged that the occupiers were forcing the station staff to hang a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin there and to take part in organizing celebrations in the city of Enerhodar on May 9.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that the Russian state concern Rosatom has sent a group of eight nuclear specialists to the temporarily captured ZNPP, who are trying to take control of the plant.