IAEA: due to the occupation at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, all the foundations of security have been undermined

All seven safety pillars of the nuclear power plant were undermined in one way or another as a result of the seizure of the Zaporizhzhya NPP by Russian troops. This conclusion is contained in the report of the IAEA inspection, which was able to visit the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in early September.

The worst situation is with ensuring the physical safety of buildings on the territory of the nuclear power plant, providing it with electricity and working conditions for personnel.

“The situation in Ukraine is unprecedented,” the report says. – For the first time there was a military conflict among the facilities of a major ongoing nuclear energy program. The accident can lead to serious consequences within the country and abroad.”

IAEA Imagebank

Stop shelling

The inspection revealed damage to buildings caused by the shelling, including the roof of the building for storing spent fuel, a special building for storing fresh fuel, and others. critical facilities, including those preventing the spread of radioactivity, the report says. So far, the level of radiation on the territory of the nuclear power plant is normal, but the IAEA recommends immediately stop shelling both at the station and near it, for which all parties must agree on the creation of a protective zone around the nuclear power plant.

The presence of weapons on the territory of the nuclear power plant and skirmishes near it endanger the physical protection system, the report states. Earlier it was reported that after the capture of the station, Russian troops placed Grads, tanks, armored personnel carriers, and a Smerch multiple launch rocket system there.

Human factor

The IAEA inspection notes that its staff saw Russian soldiers, vehicles and weapons in various places on the territory of the ZNPP, including several military trucks in the turbine halls of reactors 1 and 2, as well as army vehicles under the elevated walkway connecting the two reactors.

The IAEA staff also “observed the presence of a group of experts from Rosenergoatom.”

  IAEA Imagebank
IAEA Imagebank

The Ukrainian staff told the IAEA representatives that, despite the difficulties and lack of staff (for example, the physical protection department is not staffed by 40%), they continue to ensure the operation of the nuclear power plant in a normal mode. But they do not have unlimited access to some areas, including spray pools, roofs, etc., and this can undermine the safety of nuclear power plants, experts said.

The inspector notes:

Ukrainian employees running the station under Russian military occupation are under constant high stress and pressure, especially given the shortage of staff. This can lead to an increased risk of human error, with implications for nuclear safety.

Without electricity and communication

Recently, due to shelling, the reactors have already been disconnected from the power grid several times. The station’s power supply is critically needed, so “all military action that could disrupt it must be stopped.” They also interfere with the delivery of fuel for diesel generators, which are supposed to keep the reactors running in the event of a power outage.

There are also problems with the radiation safety control system – for example, it did not work for about 24 hours due to shelling on August 25-26. Preparedness to respond to emergencies is undermined, for example, due to the destruction of the fire station, the lack of firefighters, the occupation of the premises of the emergency technical center by the Russian military. Communication with emergency services outside the nuclear power plant is possible only by mobile phones, and even then with interruptions. Internet and satellite communications are absent.

During the shelling on August 5-6, an employee of the station was injured, buildings were destroyed, power lines supplying the station were damaged, communications were broken, the emergency protection system of the 4th reactor worked, and access to the emergency technical center was denied to specialists. During these events “virtually all seven security pillars that the IAEA director general described at the beginning of the conflict were undermined”the report says.

  IAEA Imagebank
IAEA Imagebank

The IAEA has left a permanent group of its experts at ZNPP, which will try to stabilize the situation, monitor the situation at the station and quickly obtain the necessary information. They will assess the physical damage and working conditions of the personnel, determine the operability of the equipment, and take measures to ensure safety.

Source: www.moscowtimes.ru

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