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Russia Must Cease Operations Near Nuclear Power Facilities

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Aug. 4, 2022.

In early March, Russia attacked and seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Station and continues to use force to control the plant.

Russia Must Cease Operations Near Ukraine's Nuclear Facilities
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In early March, Russia attacked and seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Station. It continues to use force to control the plant to this day. This Soviet-era facility is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

According to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi, the Zaporizhzhya plant was subject to shelling on August 5, “resulting in several explosions near the electrical switchboard, and causing a power shutdown. One reactor unit was disconnected from the electrical grid, triggering its emergency protection system and setting generators into operation to ensure power supply.”

Grossi warned that all “the seven indispensable pillars that are critical for nuclear safety and security … have been compromised if not entirely violated at one point or another during this crisis.”

“The United States continues to closely monitor reports regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhya facility, noting considerable concern regarding the risk of a nuclear incident that would endanger the people of Ukraine, neighboring states, and the international community,” said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins.

“The solution for what is happening at the Zaporizhzhya facility is straightforward.”

“The United States calls for the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s territory. This would allow for Ukraine to restore the impeccable safety, security, and safeguards performance it upheld for decades at the facility.”

“Russia continues to deploy disinformation to distract from the realities on the ground and now claims that Ukraine is culpable for the situation at the Zaporizhzhya facility,” said Under Secretary Jenkins.

She noted that this completely ignores the real issue of Russia’s seizure of the facility. Russia alone created risks there when it launched a full-scale invasion, she said, and it can eliminate those risks by withdrawing from Ukraine.”

“We once again call on Russia to cease all military operations at or near Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. The United States also supports Ukraine’s proposal to create a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhya plant,” said Under Secretary Jenkins.

“The many consequences of this conflict, including the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, will only end when Russia ends its war. The United States demands particularly urgent action to address the nuclear risks posed by Russia’s latest moves. This must be done through the work of the IAEA and a return of full control of the Zaporizhzhya facility to Ukraine.”