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Safety at ZNPP occupied by Russians continues worsening – inspectorate head

KYIV. March 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The nuclear and radiation safety at the largest in Europe Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), which has been under the occupation of Russian troops for one year, continues worsening, acting Head of the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation Oleh Korikov has said.

“The goals of the occupiers have nothing to do with nuclear and radiation safety, so the ZNPP has now been turned into a military and repair and military base. Military equipment, explosives, unauthorized personnel are located there,” he said during the United News national telethon in Monday.

According to Korikov, even the fact that access to the Zaporizhia NPP is controlled by the occupiers does not meet the norms and rules of nuclear and radiation safety since access to the NPP should be controlled by its owner and its personnel, who are responsible for this.

The head of inspectorate listed a number of security violations by the Russian invaders, in particular, illegal modifications of equipment, for example, plant-wide heat and power supply systems, spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, construction of a backup diesel power plant in the zone, and pressure on personnel.

In addition, according to him, the Ukrainian fire and rescue unit was put in such conditions that “it was forced to leave the plant and does not provide fire and rescue protection.”

The head of the inspectorate said that under such conditions, it was forced to limit its operation, which is impossible at power facilities.

At the same time, he said that the presence of a permanent IAEA monitoring mission at ZNPP is a very important component of safety and recognition that ZNPP belongs to Ukraine, and that Energoatom is its operating organization.

“But even the IAEA does not stop the occupiers from their illegal actions in violation of nuclear and radiation safety standards,” the head of the inspectorate said.

A day earlier, Ukrainian Minister of Energy Herman Haluschenko said that diplomatic steps to return the ZNPP to Ukraine have not yet been successful.

“Now the situation has reached an impasse. Our position, which we are voicing at all international venues, is that any negotiations on the Zaporizhia NPP should be based: firstly, on the demilitarization of the plant, and secondly, on the exit of Rosatom employees from the ZNPP. Thirdly, Ukrainian personnel must be able to operate a nuclear facility calmly, without pressure. But in response to this, we received Putin’s void decree that ZNPP is a “federal” property, with the registration of the corresponding company in Moscow under the name “Zaporozhskaya plant,” his words were quoted on the Telegram channel of the ministry.