AP

U.N. monitors head to troubled Ukraine nuclear plant

Aug 30, 2022, 9:30 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2022, 2:48 am

A team of IAEA experts and inspectors leave the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 20...

A team of IAEA experts and inspectors leave the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. The U.N. nuclear watchdog team set off on an urgent mission to safeguard the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant at the heart of fighting in Ukraine, a long-awaited trip the world hopes will help avoid a radioactive catastrophe. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A team of international nuclear inspectors was heading Wednesday to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant caught in the middle of the fighting in southern Ukraine amid international concern of a potential accident or radiation leak.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he hoped to establish a permanent mission in Ukraine to monitor Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

“These operations are very complex operations. We are going to a war zone. We are going to occupied territory. And this requires explicit guarantees from not only from the Russians, but also from the Republic of Ukraine,” Grossi said in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv before the monitoring the mission’s departure.

“We have been able to secure that. … So now we are moving.”

The power plant has been occupied by Russian forces and operated by Ukrainian workers since the early days of the 6-month-old war.

It was recently cut off temporarily from the electrical grid because of fire damage, causing a blackout in the region and heightening fears of a catastrophe in a country haunted by the Chernobyl disaster.

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said Kyiv is seeking international assistance to try and demilitarize the area.

“We think that the mission should be a very important step to return (the plant) to Ukrainian government control by the end of the year,” Galushchenko told The Associated Press.

“We have information that they are now trying to hide their military presence, so they should check all of this.”

Zaporizhzhia is a vital source of energy for Ukraine and remains connected to its power grid. Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of shelling the wider region around the nuclear power plant and the risks are so severe that officials have begun distributing anti-radiation iodine tablets to nearby residents. Grossi met Tuesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss the mission that is expected to last several days. The inspectors from the IAEA, a United Nations body, where due to reach the Zaporizhzhia region, 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of the Ukrainian capital, later Wednesday.

___ Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

6 hours ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

1 day ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

1 day ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

U.N. monitors head to troubled Ukraine nuclear plant