The area around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is under fire. 42 states demand the withdrawal of Russian troops. Russia should immediately withdraw its soldiers from the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, 42 states demanded in a statement. The contested area has been occupied by Russia, but Ukrainian employees must ensure operations. For several weeks, the area surrounding the power plant has been the target of artillery attacks, raising concerns about power disruption or, in the worst case, leakage of radioactive material. How close the shelling is cannot be determined with certainty due to the war situation.
It is also not possible to determine objectively who is shooting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Both sides are blaming each other. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate halt to all military operations in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear power plant and for military personnel and military equipment to be withdrawn from the nuclear power plant. Guterres spoke to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the phone about the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Appeals from all sides have so far been fruitless
42 states, including the Federal Republic of Germany, are demanding that Russia withdraw troops around the nuclear power plant. The statement said: "The presence of Russian forces at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant prevents the operator and the Ukrainian authorities from fulfilling their nuclear and radiation safety obligations under international conventions and IAEA safety standards, and prevents the IAEA from Fulfillment of their monitoring mission."
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located on the Dnipro River near the city of Enerhodar in south-eastern Ukraine. There are six pressurized water reactors of the Soviet type WWER-1000/320, each with a net output of 950 megawatts.
At the beginning of August 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres demanded that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to examine the damage. Ukraine said the shelling damaged three radiation sensors and injured a worker at the power plant. On August 5, a reactor block was shut down. On August 11, according to the Ukrainian account, a pumping station and radiation sensors were damaged.
Is Europe facing a nuclear catastrophe from a super meltdown?
In his daily video speech, the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy once again warned of the consequences of a nuclear catastrophe. "Any radioactive incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant could also become a blow to the states of the European Union and to Turkey and to Georgia and to the states of more distant regions," he said, according to a report by the broadcaster Deutsche Welle. "Everything depends only on the direction and strength of the wind."
Meanwhile, there is a delay in the visit of an international expert mission to Zaporizhzhia. Russia accuses the United Nations of preventing or blocking the planned action by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UN rejected the allegations, as reported by the Reuters news agency.