Russia following nuclear watchdog’s guidelines at Zaporozhye power plant – Rosatom CEO

Alexey Likhachev says Moscow is abiding by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s guidelines for the Zaporozhye power plant

Russia following nuclear watchdog’s guidelines at Zaporozhye power plant – Rosatom CEO

Russia following nuclear watchdog’s guidelines at Zaporozhye power plant – Rosatom CEO

Alexey Likhachev said Ukrainian shelling and the threat of a direct attack mean that the facility’s safety is hanging in the balance

Russia is following the recommendations laid down by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with respect to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev stressed on Thursday. The official also described Ukraine’s reluctance to renounce the use of force around the site as one of the main threats to its safety.

Speaking to RT on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Likhachev said that “our main objective for this visit of [IAEA Director General Rafael] Grossi is to demonstrate that Russia is de facto abiding by those principles, those five postulates that Rafael proclaimed from the UN floor several days ago.” 

Among those “simple,” yet important guidelines, he cited the abstention from conducting strikes on the facility and from its grounds as well as reducing pressure on its staff.  

According to the head of Rosatom, these principles “encapsulate the very meaning of safety” and are being treated by Moscow as “canon.” 

However, “until the Kiev leadership commits itself to these obligations” as well, Europe’s largest nuclear plant will be at risk. 

Likhachev went on to praise Grossi and his colleagues for their personal courage, noting that they had decided to visit the Zaporozhye facility despite the recent uptick in fighting in the region. 

When asked whether Russia has sufficient resources to ensure the station's safety, the official replied in the affirmative, saying that the “situation is stable and it is under control.” 

However, the Rosatom head emphasized that the danger of a direct military strike on the plant remains as the Ukrainian leadership has so far failed to rule out such operations. 

On Thursday, the IAEA Director General arrived at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant with a team of inspectors.

Among other things, Grossi told TASS that he did not expect Kiev and Moscow to reach an agreement on maintaining the safety of the facility any time soon.  

The two sides have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the power plant, which was seized by Moscow’s forces in March, 2022. 

As recently as last Friday, officials from the pro-Russian administration reported that air defense forces had managed to bring down three Ukrainian explosives-laden drones in the vicinity of the nuclear facility.