A team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog (IAEA) set off for Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Monday (August 29), the agency’s chief said, as Russia and Ukraine traded accusations of shelling in its vicinity, stirring fears of a radiation disaster.
The mission, led by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, departed Vienna by plane.
“We must protect the safety and security of Ukraine’s and Europe’s biggest nuclear facility,” Grossi said on Twitter with a picture of himself with 13 other staff members, apparently at the VIP terminal of Vienna airport.
The IAEA team will assess any damage from recent shelling near the plant, evaluate the conditions in which staff are working and “determine functionality of safety & security systems.”
A top Russian diplomat said Moscow welcomes the IAEA mission, and a Russian-installed official in the region of the plant said authorities would ensure the safety of the U.N. nuclear inspectors, Russian news agencies reported.