Russia not currently planning to restart Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, TASS says

By Thomson Reuters May 28, 2024 | 7:01 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is not currently planning to restart the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the head of Russia’s state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Russian forces have occupied the Zaporizhzhia plant since early in what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine, and its six reactors are not in operation.

Russian state-run news agency TASS said Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had held talks with a Rosatom delegation in the western Russian city of Kaliningrad at which he said an understanding was reached on the safety of the plant.

TASS said Rosatom chief Alexei Likhachev had underlined the importance of the plant’s safety and that restarting it was not currently on the agenda.

Environment group Greenpeace, citing documents it said were submitted by Rosatom to the IAEA in mid-May, had said Russia was planning to restart the plant and that this could be fraught with “unprecedented escalation.”

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other at various times of shelling what is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Both deny the accusations.

The IAEA, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, has said the plant has been experiencing off-site power problems since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, increasing security risks at the site.

(Reporting by Reuters, Editing by Peter Graff and Timothy Heritage)