Aug 29, 2022
By Angus Gillespie
A U.N. nuclear watchdog team is undertaking an an urgent matter with many security risks as a means of safeguarding the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
International Atomic Energy Agency will visit and inspect the plant in a country where the 1986 Chernobyl disaster spewed radiation throughout the region.
Underscoring the urgency, Ukraine and Russia again accused each other of shelling the wider region around the nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which was briefly knocked offline last week. The dangers are so high that officials have begun handing out anti-radiation iodine tablets to nearby residents. Many in the region began to evacuate as of Sunday.
World leaders have called on the Russians to demilitarize the plant. Satellite images showed armored personnel carriers on a road near the reactors, damage to a building’s roof also near the reactors, and brushfires burning nearby.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has begun a large counter-offensive in an effort to regain lost territory in the southern part of the country, which Russian forces overtook in March.