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UN Security Council to Discuss Ukraine Nuclear Plant Crisis

UN Security Council to Discuss Ukraine Nuclear Plant Crisis

Thursday, 11 August, 2022 - 05:45
One of the six nuclear reactors at the Zaporhizhzhia plant in the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar, August 4, 2022. Alexander Ermochenko, Reuters

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Thursday to address the crisis at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex, the power plant that Kyiv and Moscow accuse each other of having bombed, diplomatic sources said.

A source in the Security Council presidency, currently held by China, told AFP on Wednesday that the meeting would occur on August 11 at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT).

A second diplomatic source at United Nations headquarters in New York said the council's 15 member nations would gather at the request of Russia, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- along with Britain, China, France and the United States -- which hold veto power over UN resolutions.

Bombings on Tuesday night left at least 14 people dead in southeastern Ukraine near the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the largest in Europe and whose occupation by invading Russian forces has alarmed the international community.

The G7 group of most industrialized nations warned on Wednesday that Moscow's continued occupation of the plant "endangers the region," and called for return of the facility to Ukrainian control.

The tensions have brought back memories of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in then-Soviet Ukraine, which killed hundreds of people and spread radioactive contamination over much of Europe.

The UN nuclear safety watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a statement that its Director General Rafael Grossi would brief the Security Council meeting "about the nuclear safety and security situation" at the plant as well as his "efforts to agree and lead an IAEA expert mission to the site as soon as possible".

Grossi called the situation at the complex "extremely serious".

The IAEA said his briefing would detail how shelling at the site last week "breached virtually all the seven indispensable nuclear safety and security pillars" that Grossi outlined at the beginning of the conflict.

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