The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog began consultations with Kyiv and Moscow on Monday over his call for a “protection zone for nuclear safety and security” around the Zaporizhzhya power plant.
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said the two sides appeared interested and needed to agree on a “very simple principle of no attack”.
The International Atomic Energy Agency did not condone blame for the recent bombing, which Ukraine and Russia have blamed on each other. Russian forces occupied the factory but its Ukrainian employees have run it since the start of the war.
Pressing whether his proposal includes disarmament, Grossi said, “Essentially, it’s an obligation not to include any military action or which would involve targeting … the station, or a radius that could affect its normal operation.”
The Zaporizhzhya plant was reconnected to Ukraine’s power grid at the weekend, allowing engineers to shut down the last operational reactor in an effort to avert a radiological disaster as fighting raged in the region.
The station lost its external source of energy after all power lines were cut off due to the bombing.
It worked in “island mode” for several days, generating electricity for critical cooling systems from its only remaining operational reactor – an unstable way to power a nuclear plant.