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US urges shutdown of nuclear plant slated for IAEA inspection — Analysis

The Russian military previously suggested that the Zaporozhye facility be shut down in response to Ukrainian aggressions.

Senior US officials have urged a full shutdown of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control.

“controlled shutdown”The facility “would be the safest and least risky option in the near-term,”John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesperson, told journalists Monday. Unnamed US Defense Officials also called on Monday, and briefed reporters the next day.

Although the Russians have held the power station and Energodar, which it houses since March 2018, civilian Ukrainian workers still manage the facility. The site has been subject to constant drone and artillery attacks for several weeks.

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of orchestrating the attacks. Kiev claims that Russian forces used Zaporozhye to establish a base for military operations and placed heavy weapons there. Moscow refutes this assertion.




This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is expected to visit the plant for an on-site inspection. Rafael Grossi will lead the agency’s delegation, which may be at the plant as early as Wednesday.

Zaporozhye, a Soviet-built nuclear power station is Europe’s largest. It hosts six of Ukraine’s 15 power-generating reactors, which are spread across four plants. When all VVER-1000 units were operational simultaneously, the facility attained its maximum capacity of more than 6,000 MW in December 2021. Only reactors 5 and 6 are currently online.

According to Vladimir Rogov, head of Russia-allied Zaporozhye Region administration, Zaporozhye Plant supplies electricity to Ukraine’s parts controlled by each side despite hostilities.

Mid-March saw the Russian military suggest that the need to shut down reactors might be due to Ukrainian aggression at the plant. The head of the Russian military unit trained to deal with the effects of using weapons of destruction and radiation poisoning, Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov made such a suggestion.

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