The Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in Ukraine was disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid for the first time ever on Thursday due to a fire in a transmission line, causing a blackout in the region.
The plant has been the site of frequent shelling, and Yevgeny Balitsky, the Russian-installed leader of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, blamed the transmission line damage on a Ukrainian attack.
Ukraine has blamed shelling at the ZNPP on Moscow, but Russia has little reason to attack the plant since it has been under Russian control since March. Russian troops are stationed at the plant, which is being run by Ukrainian operators.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said this week that it renewed a request to inspect the ZNPP, and the nuclear watchdog is hoping its inspectors can visit the plant before September 5. The IAEA is currently working out the details with Ukraine and Russia.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that the IAEA mission to the ZNPP will have more authority than usual. IAEA inspectors could investigate the attacks on the plant and potentially attribute them to the responsible party. Russia has been calling for an IAEA inspection and has said that the inspectors will be able to see who has been shelling the plant once they’re there.