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Ukrainian minister at IAEA: Global nuclear safety at risk as Zaporizhzhia plant, biggest in EU, remains occupied

Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, speaking at the IAEA meeting in Vienna, emphasized the global responsibility to protect nuclear safety as the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant remains under occupation of Russian forces for the third year.
russian attack zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
The image shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Source: Daniel Arrhakis, Flickr
Ukrainian minister at IAEA: Global nuclear safety at risk as Zaporizhzhia plant, biggest in EU, remains occupied

The civilized world must not allow Russia to use nuclear technology for blackmail and aggression, said Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna.

The minister claimed that Russia poses a threat to all countries around the globe as it disregards the IAEA primary requirements, including the withdrawal of military forces from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the removal of “Rosatom” representatives from the Ukrainian nuclear facility.

The plant has been occupied by the Russian military since the early days of the war. The occupiers have not conducted necessary repairs and inspections at the plant, and the employees they hired are not professional enough to maintain the station.

Herman Halushchenko also said Russia used the plant ZNPP as a military base. In addition, Moscow troops scattered mines across the facility.

“The information presented in Russia’s verbal notes to the IAEA Secretariat does not correspond to reality. It mainly concerns its claims about proper equipment repairs and staffing the station with qualified and licensed personnel.

This information could not be verified or confirmed. The reality is the opposite. From 75% to 90% of major safety-related repairs have not been carried out. The station’s staff has decreased from nearly 11,000 to less than 3,000 people,” he emphasized.

Halushchenko noted that the future of nuclear energy depends on the shared responsibility and determination of the international community.

“We will not allow nuclear technology to be used for blackmail and aggression. We must do everything possible to protect the nuclear safety of Ukraine, Europe, and the entire world,” he said.

The minister claimed that Ukraine prioritizes the safety of its nuclear facilities as the first point in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula is nuclear and radiation protection.

Halushchenko urged the IAEA to support the Peace Formula, which will be presented at the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland.

The plan aligns with international safety principles and nuclear non-proliferation norms, reflecting Ukraine’s commitment to the peaceful use of atomic energy worldwide. It also reflects the shared views of countries committed to promoting and safely operating nuclear power, stressed the minister.

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