The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday issued a report on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) that called for the establishment of “a nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the Russian-controlled plant.
The 52-page report stopped short of identifying who has been behind the shelling of the ZNPP as Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for the attacks. The plant and the territory around it have been controlled by Russian forces since March, giving Moscow little reason to attack the area.
The report said that IAEA inspectors observed shelling in the area around the ZNPP and examined damage said to be caused by recent attacks. “The team observed damage at different locations caused by reported events with some of the damage being close to the reactor buildings,” the IAEA said in the report.
The IAEA said that it observed a Russian military presence at the plant. “The team observed the presence of Russian military personnel, vehicles and equipment at various places at the ZNPP,” the report said.
The IAEA called for an end to the shelling of the plant, but Russian officials have reported more attacks. On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of firing 20 shells at the town of Enerhodar and areas around the ZNPP and said three shells landed on the territory of the plant.
The fighting around the ZNPP has raised fears of a possible nuclear disaster in Ukraine. Ukrainian operators are still running the plant, and the IAEA said the stress caused by the Russian military presence and the shelling makes the situation “not sustainable and could lead to increased human error with implications for nuclear safety.”