Greenpeace assessed conditions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and sent the report to Western leaders on Thursday. Among other things, the environmental watchdog concluded that there are too few IAEA inspectors working at the Russian-controlled power plant, and that their hands are so tied that their presence absolutely does not guarantee safety. Factory operation – writes The Guardian.
According to Greenpeace, the IAEA is “unable to fulfill the requirements of its mandate,” but refuses to admit this publicly. “The IAEA risks normalizing a still-critical nuclear crisis, unprecedented in the history of nuclear energy, while overstating its actual impact on events on the ground,” the document’s authors say.
There are currently four inspectors at the six-reactor power plant, which was seized by Russian forces last August. The front line has been running alongside the factory ever since, while some reports indicate that Russian forces are using the factory as a military base. All six reactors are currently closed.
The IAEA did not comment directly on the Greenpeace report, but confirmed that its inspectors have been at the site since September 2022 and that without their presence “the world would not have an independent source of information about Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.”
Greenpeace’s conclusions are complemented by an open-source military assessment written by the intelligence firm McKinsey. It is written in it
Based on satellite images, the Russians appear to have built firing points over four reactor halls and are regularly firing rocket launchers at Ukrainian targets from various locations – located between one and eighteen kilometers from the power plant.
According to the report, the Russian military is likely to use the proximity of the nuclear power plant as a shield, a violation of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s security principles. Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in May that, according to the organization’s principles, an attack on a nuclear power plant is prohibited and the storage of heavy weapons on its territory is prohibited. According to Greenpeace, since then, the IAEA has not documented whether the Russians are adhering to these basic principles – according to the organization, this is because IAEA inspectors likely do not even have access to this information.
The International Atomic Energy Agency admitted in a report in September that although inspectors were able to conduct independent inspections at the site, “certain areas of the power plant, such as the roof of the reactor building or turbine halls, remained inaccessible for an extended period.” “. The Russian power plant administration also asked inspectors to notify them a week before they entered the plant area.