The recent move by Russian occupiers to block access to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s monitoring mission experts to the reactor halls at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (Zaporizhzhia NPP) is most likely an attempt to hide the real safety situation at the station, said Energoatom, the state energy company.
According to Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s enterprise, Russian troops denied entry to the areas at the Zaporizhzhia NPP where the reactor cores were located and the spent nuclear fuel was contained, Energoatom reported on 4 January.
Kotin emphasized that Energoatom is the only legitimate operator of Zaporizhzhia NPP, Europe’s largest nuclear facility. Therefore, only returning the plant under the complete control of Ukraine can ensure its nuclear and radiation safety.
“The only way to guarantee the protection of the plant is complete demilitarization and de-occupation of Zaporizhzhia NPP and neighboring territories,” the head of Energoatom noted.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, monitoring mission experts could not gain access to all areas of the site, particularly to the reactor halls of units 1, 2, and 6 and areas at the turbine halls of reactor units 3, 4, and 6, as well as to the roofs of reactor buildings.
Earlier, Ukrainian intelligence informed that Russia demanded that the Ukrainian workers at the occupied plant obtained Russian passports and signed employment contracts with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.
The intelligence also reported that as punishment for not having a passport, Ukrainians are being selectively denied access to their workplaces by having their entry passes revoked.