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‘Acceptable practice’ – Moscow responds to IAEA report on ZNPP mining

Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant’s perimeter (ZNPP)
Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant’s perimeter (ZNPP)

This is an "acceptable practice" that poses no threat to the plant or its employees, the Russian Permanent Mission in Vienna said on Jan. 31 in response to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report that the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant’s perimeter (ZNPP) has been mined.

Read also: IAEA Director General to visit Zaporizhzhya NPP, Kyiv, and Moscow

“The mines are located between the outer and inner perimeters… in a closed ‘buffer’ zone, access to which is restricted,” the mission’s statement said.

“The presence of mines there is due to the need to deter potential Ukrainian saboteurs. The protective measures taken at the plant are adequate to the existing threats. Laying mines to protect the perimeter of a nuclear power plant is an acceptable practice that does not contradict any IAEA recommendations.”

Russian troops continue to deny experts access to the reactor halls at the occupied Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, the IAEA reported on Jan. 12. IAEA monitoring personnel have been unable to enter the reactor halls of the facility's first, second, and sixth units.

Read also: Russia denies IAEA access to parts of occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, will visit the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) as part of the agency's new rotation of experts, he announced after a meeting with the UN’s Security Council, reported Ukrinform.

He also plans to visit Kyiv and Moscow, and to meet with the plant’s leadership and Russian representatives as the ZNPP prepares for its 16th rotation.

Zaporizhzhia NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and has been occupied by Russian forces since Mar. 4, 2022. Several ZNPP facilities have been damaged by Russian shelling, and the station's employees are captives of the occupying troops.

The Kremlin uses the site as cover for its forces, as Ukraine can’t return fire for the risk of causing a nuclear calamity.

Currently, the plant operates solely for its own needs and does not supply electricity to the Ukrainian grid.

Read also: Kyiv blames partial shutdown at Zaporizhzhya NPP on Russian ‘gross incompetence’

During the summer, Ukrainian authorities also expressed concerns about Russia’s intentions to carry out a terrorist act at Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Russia was contemplating a terrorist act at the seized NPP, with preparations allegedly completed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in June.

Explosive devices were strategically placed near four out of six power units, and the cooling system was rigged with charges, said Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine