UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his deep concern over a recent attack on a nuclear power station in southern Ukraine during a meeting in Tokyo on Monday with the Japan National Press Club.
Speaking to Japan’s media, the UN chief said, “Any attack on nuclear plants is…suicidal,” adding that he hoped that the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be able to access the plant for inspection.
“We support the IAEA on their efforts in relation to creating the conditions of stabilization of that plant,” said the UN chief, adding he hopes that the IAEA would be able to access the plant.”
His remarks came after both Moscow and Kyiv denied responsibility for the strike on the Zaporizhzhia plant over the weekend.
Although Europe’s largest nuclear power site has been under Russian control since the early days of the war, Ukrainian technicians are still running it.
Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom said that Russian shelling damaged three radiation monitors around the storage facility for spent nuclear fuels, in which one worker was injured.
The shelling prompted IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi to warn that the way in which Zaporizhzhia was being run coupled with the fighting around it posed “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.
Thereafter, a preliminary assessment by UN atomic overseer experts found that the safety and security situation seemed stable with no immediate threat, despite that several pillars were breached.