In the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, both countries have accused each other of plotting to stage an attack on the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed French President Emmanuel Macron about these alleged "dangerous provocations" by Russia at the plant. Russian troops had seized the station, which is Europe's largest nuclear facility, following the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since then, both sides have regularly accused each other of shelling around the plant and risking a major nuclear mishap.
Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Rosenergoatom, Russia's nuclear network operator, claimed that Ukraine planned to drop ammunition laced with nuclear waste from another Ukrainian nuclear station onto the Zaporizhzhia plant. However, no evidence was provided to support this accusation. Zelenskyy also tweeted about the alleged dangerous provocations at the plant and stated that he had agreed with Macron to keep the situation under control with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Ukrainian armed forces issued a statement quoting "operational data" that claimed explosive devices had been placed on the roof of the plant's third and fourth reactors, with a possible attack in the near future. However, no evidence was provided to support this claim either. It is important to note that none of the reactors at the plant are currently producing electricity.
Zelenskyy, in his nightly video message, accused Russia of being the only source of danger to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, emphasizing that the world cannot ignore this fact.
The IAEA has been attempting to demilitarize the plant and reduce the risks of a nuclear accident for over a year. However, their efforts have been unsuccessful, and Director General Rafael Grossi has visited the plant three times without reaching an agreement to ensure its safety from shelling.
Zelenskyy's adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, criticized the IAEA for their ineffective approach, stating that any potential disaster at Zaporizhzhia could have been prevented if the IAEA had taken clear action from the beginning.
Overall, the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains tense, with both Russia and Ukraine accusing each other of plotting attacks. The lack of evidence provided by either side makes it difficult to ascertain the truth of these allegations. The IAEA's attempts to ensure the plant's safety have been unsuccessful so far, raising concerns about the potential risks involved.