UN Nuclear Watchdog Ready to Inspect Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Power Plant

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The head of International Atomic Energy Agency has warned that whoever fired artillery at Ukraine’s power plant was “playing with fire.” Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the shelling of the facility, as they have done repeatedly in recent months after attacks on it or near it.

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog has warned that whoever fired artillery at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was "playing with fire" as his team prepare to inspect it on Monday for damage from the weekend strikes.

 

The attacks on Europe's biggest nuclear power plant in the south of Ukraine came as battles raged in the east, where Russian forces pounded Ukrainian positions along the front line, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

 

The shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station follows setbacks for Russian forces in the Kherson region in the south and a Russian response that has included a barrage of missile strikes across the country, many on power facilities.

 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said more than a dozen blasts shook the nuclear plant late on Saturday and on Sunday. IAEA head Rafael Grossi said the attacks were extremely disturbing and completely unacceptable.

 

"Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you're playing with fire!" Grossi said in a statement.

 

Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the shelling of the facility, as they have done repeatedly in recent months after attacks on it or near it.

 

Citing information provided by plant management, an IAEA team on the ground said there had been damage to some buildings, systems and equipment, but none of them critical for nuclear safety and security.

 

The team plans to conduct an assessment on Monday, Grossi said, but Russian nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom said there would be curbs on what the team could inspect.