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The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said today that a security zone should be immediately established in the Zaporizhzhia NPP region to avoid a nuclear accident, BTA reports.

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In a statement posted on the U.N. nuclear watchdog's website, he said he had learned from IAEA inspectors on the ground about the "serious situation" around the power plant that arose last night.

Grossi points out that the thermal power plant in the town of Energodar has been damaged by shelling, and the entire town is without electricity, and also working water and sewerage.

Given the ongoing shelling, Grossi continues, there is little chance of power being restored from the damaged thermal power plant.

The Director General of the IAEA at the Zaporizhia NPP: We managed to collect a lot of information

As a result, the operator of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, also without power, is considering shutting down the only operating reactor, and so the entire plant will depend on backup diesel generators to ensure its safety and reliable operation.

Subsequently, the operator of the nuclear power plant will not be able to restart the reactors unless a reliable supply of electricity is restored, Grossi concluded.

In his words, this unstable situation is "completely unacceptable and cannot remain so".

"Therefore, I strongly call for an immediate cessation of all shelling in the entire area. Only this will ensure the safety and security of personnel and allow for the sustainable restoration of power supply to Energodar and the nuclear power plant," the IAEA Director General stated.

According to Grossi, "this dramatic development shows the absolute imperative to create now a nuclear safety and security protection zone," which is "the only way to not face a nuclear accident."

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Zaporozhye NPP