8:55 pm ET, March 28, 2023
Military activity near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is escalating, IAEA director general says
From CNN’s Alex Hardy and Jaya Sharma
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grosi said on Tuesday that military activity around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is escalating.
Speaking from Dnipro, Ukraine ahead of a visit to the plant, Krosi said the situation was “not great”.
“The military operation continues,” he told CNN’s Lynda Kinkade. “Actually, it’s increasing. There are more troops, military vehicles, heavy artillery, and more military activity around the plant.”
The plant “has been subject to repeated blackouts,” Croci added.
The director-general’s visit was his second visit to the plant and his first since the IAEA established a permanent presence at the site in September last year, the agency said in a statement on Saturday.
“I want to see what my situation is, talk to the administration there, which is the Russian administration,” Grassi told CNN.
Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear monopoly, said on Tuesday that Russia was ready to discuss the plant’s situation with Croci.
“In a few hours, my team and I, we’re going to cross the front lines again — like we did last year,” Grossi said. “I’m going to continue my advocacy to try to put a safeguard around the plant and save us all from a nuclear accident with catastrophic consequences.”
The IAEA chief said the current risk level at the plant “is very high and it is completely unpredictable, precisely because we are in a war zone”.
On Monday, Krosi met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited Zaporizhia and Dnipro regions. Later, in his Monday night speech, Zelensky thanked Croci for his support.
CNN’s Anna Chernova and Sarah Dean contributed reporting.