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The UN nuclear agency said a team of experts will visit the besieged Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in the “next few days” to assess the damage and try to avert a potential nuclear disaster.
The plant, located in southern Ukraine, has been hit by a barrage of bombing in recent days, with Moscow and Kiev blaming each other for the attacks.
Russian forces took over the plant in March but allowed Ukrainian personnel to continue operating the plant.
The United States and dozens of other countries have urged Russia to allow experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the plant.
“The planned mission would assess physical damage to the ZNPP facilities, determine whether the main and backup safety and security systems were functional, and assess the working conditions of personnel, as well as carrying out urgent safeguards at the site,” said the ‘IAEA Sunday.
WHERE THE WAR IN UKRAINE IS 6 MONTHS MILESTONES
Russia accused Ukrainian forces of bombing the plant over the weekend, while Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday that Russia had turned the plant into “a military base”.
“The Russian army has to get out of the plant: they have nothing to do there!” Kuleba tweeted on Sunday.
Despite the bombing, radiation levels were normal on Sunday and there was no evidence of any hydrogen leaks, the IAEA said.
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The State Department, meanwhile, has accused Russia of “cynical filibuster” for blocking a nuclear non-proliferation treaty that had been in the works for a month.
“Russia did this to block language that merely acknowledged the serious radiological risk of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the same kind of challenge the conference is facing,” the State Department said on Sunday.