IAEA Director Makes Plea to 'Protect' Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant After Russian Strikes Cut Off Power

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pleaded for action “to protect the safety and security” of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar, Ukraine, after Russian strikes cut power to the plant on March 9.

Rafael Grossi said the plant lost all off-site power as its last power lines were damaged or disconnected on Thursday, meaning it had to rely on the site’s 20 emergency diesel generators. Grossi said that the generators could sustain the plant for 15 days.

“How can we sit here in this room this morning and allow this to happen? This cannot go on,” Grossi said in a statement to the IAEA board of governors in Vienna.

“We are the IAEA, we are meant to care about nuclear safety. Each time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out,” Grossi said.

“I call on everyone in this room today and elsewhere: We must commit to protect the safety and security of the plant. And we need to commit now. What we need is action,” Grossi said.

Ukrainian energy company Ukrenergo said it restored some power to the Zaporizhzhia plant on March 9. Credit: IAEA via Storyful