UN nuclear watchdog team leaves for Zaporizhzhia power plant
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog has deployed a team to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant in southeastern Ukraine, the agency's chief said Monday.
Driving the news: International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Rafael Grossi's announcement that the IAEA team is "now on its way" and will arrive at the nuclear power station "later this week" comes as reports of shelling near the plant in recent days raise concerns of a potential disaster.
What to expect: Grossi will lead the support and assistance mission to Zaporizhzhya to assess damage, determine the functionality of safety and security systems, evaluate staff conditions and "perform urgent safeguards activities," per an IAEA statement.
The big picture: Putin's forces have maintained military activity at or near Zaporizhzhia plant since seizing Europe's largest nuclear power plant in March.
- UN chief António Guterres earlier this month called for a demilitarized zone at the plant, but shelling that Ukrainian and Russian officials blame on each other for has continued near the facility as recently as over the weekend.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.