After receiving information about the detention of Ihor Murashov, Director General of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been in contact with the relevant authorities and has been informed that Mr Murashov is in temporary detention, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.
The IAEA, in line with its nuclear safety and security mandate, has been actively seeking clarifications and hopes for a prompt and satisfactory resolution of this matter, Director General Grossi said. He reiterated that this detention has a very significant impact on at least two of the seven indispensable nuclear safety and security pillars that he outlined at the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.
“Such a detention of any member of the plant staff would be a source of grave concern in itself, but also for its psychological impact and pressure on the rest of the staff – which is detrimental to nuclear safety and security”, said Director General Grossi.
Furthermore, the Director General of the ZNPP has the responsibility to ensure the nuclear safety and security of the plant. He ensures that all the plant’s operational procedures are implemented, including the ones related to nuclear safety, radiation safety of operating personnel, and to nuclear security. Additionally, he activates and leads the response to any on-site nuclear emergency.
“His absence from duty in this way also has an immediate and serious impact on decision-making in ensuring the safety and security of the plant,” Director General Grossi added.
Director General Grossi expressed the hope that Mr Murashov will return to his family safely and promptly and will be able to resume his important functions at the plant.
Separately today, IAEA experts present at the ZNPP reported that several explosions were again heard in the vicinity of the plant. As with the previous explosions reported by the IAEA this week, they are believed to have been caused by landmines. The explosions did not result in any direct impact on the safety or security systems of the ZNPP.
Today’s explosions indicate a continued rise in the number of landmine explosions reported this week outside the perimeter fence of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which is controlled by Russian forces but operated by its Ukrainian staff. Director General Grossi remains deeply concerned about the repeated occurrence of such landmine explosions near the plant.
Director General Grossi continues his consultations and other efforts aimed at agreeing and implementing a nuclear safety and security zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible. He is expected to travel to Kyiv and Moscow next week.