Published: 2024-02-07 15:54
Last Updated: 2024-02-25 18:35
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed new concerns about the safety of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, based in Ukraine - according to “The Independent.”
Rafael Grossi, Director general of the IAEA, stated that the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine has witnessed "alarming reductions" in its workforce recently.
The agency has repeatedly expressed concerns about the safety of the facility amid fears of a nuclear disaster that could affect wide areas of the European continent.
Grossi mentioned that his upcoming visit to the plant, as the Ukrainian-Russian war approaches its third year, aims to assess the impact of the recent workforce reductions, especially after Russia prevented many employees of the Ukrainian company, Energoatom, from accessing it.
Energoatom oversees all nuclear power plants in Ukraine, with the massive Zaporizhzhia plant employing around 12,000 staff before the war.
"Now, this number has been reduced to between 2000 and 3000, which is an extremely sharp decline in the workforce," Grossi added. "Such large and highly sophisticated facilities require a certain number of individuals performing specific and varied tasks."
"The situation is currently stable, but it's a very delicate balance... That's why I need to see for myself what the situation is and what the prospects are regarding employment, both in the medium and long term," he stated.
The six reactors at the plant have been shut down for months, but it still requires power and qualified personnel to operate crucial cooling systems and other safety features.