UN Agency: No Evidence Seen For Moscow's 'dirty Bomb' Claim - Eastern Mirror
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UN agency: No evidence seen for Moscow’s ‘dirty bomb’ claim

By IANS Updated: Nov 03, 2022 10:16 pm

 Kyiv, Nov. 3 (PTI/AP): The UN’s nuclear agency said on Thursday that its inspectors found no evidence to support Russia’s claim that Ukraine planned to build and detonate a radioactive dirty bomb with the intent of blaming it on Moscow.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the inspections requested by the Ukrainian government “did not find any indications of undeclared nuclear activities and materials. The agency said its experts carried out inspections in three locations in Ukraine and were given unfettered access to the sites.

Based on the evaluation of the results available to date and the information provided by Ukraine, the agency did not find any indications of undeclared nuclear activities and materials at the locations, the agency said in a statement.

Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have made repeated unfounded claims that Ukraine planned to detonate a bomb that scatters radioactive waste in a false flag operation it would try to pin on Moscow.

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, claimed in a letter to the UN Security Council members last week that Ukraine’s nuclear research facility and mining company received direct orders from (President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy’s regime to develop such a dirty bomb.

Western nations had called Moscow’s unproven allegation transparently false.

Ukrainian authorities dismissed it as an attempt to distract attention from alleged Russian plans to set off a dirty bomb as a way to justify an escalation of hostilities.

Earlier Thursday, Ukraine’s nuclear operator said that Russian shelling damaged power lines connecting Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to the Ukrainian grid, leaving the plant again relying on emergency diesel generators.

As fighting in Ukraine has damaged power lines and electrical substations, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has repeatedly operated on backup generators to cool its reactors and keep other safety systems running until regular power could be restored. The generators have enough fuel to maintain the plant in southeastern Ukraine for just 15 days, state nuclear power comany Energoatom said on its Telegram channel.

The countdown has begun, Energoatom said, noting it had limited possibilities to maintain the ZNPP in a safe mode, raising fears of a potential nuclear disaster.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday that the plant’s latest switch to backup power further underlines the extremely precarious nuclear safety and security situation at the facility and the urgent need to establish a protection zone around it.

The development again demonstrates the plant’s fragile and vulnerable situation, Rafael Grossi, the director general of the UN nuclear watchdog, said.

Relying on diesel generators is clearly not a sustainable way to operate a major nuclear facility,” Grossi added. “Measures are needed to prevent a nuclear accident at the site. The establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone is urgently needed.

The plant’s six reactors are not in operation, but outside electricity is needed to cool its spent fuel. Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for months amid the war for shelling at and around the plant that the IAEA has warned could cause a radiation emergency.

Russia gave a different account, blaming Ukraine. The Russian state-run news agency Tass quoted an official at Russia’s nuclear power operator, Rosenergoatom, as claiming that Ukraine had switched off two power lines providing the nuclear plant with electricity.

The official, Renat Karchaa, said the move deprived the city of Energodar, where plant’s workers live, of heating. He confirmed that emergency backup diesel generators had to be switched on to cool the reactors and run other safety systems, but denied the problems had been caused by Russian shelling of power lines.

Russian forces occupied the plant during the early days of the war. The plant is located in the Zaporizhzhia region, part of which has been occupied by Russian forces and illegally annexed, along with three other provinces, by Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.

Although Putin signed a decree transferring the nuclear plant to Russian ownership, Ukrainian workers continue to run the plant.

The latest loss of reliable electricity overnight came when Russia shelled two power lines that were connecting the plant to the Ukrainian grid in an attempt to reconnect the nuclear plant to the Russian power system, Energoatom alleged.

Across the Dnieper River from the power plant, the city of Nikopol was also shelled again, damaging residential buildings, a gas station and several private enterprises, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said on Thursday.

Other Ukrainian cities were also hit, with Russia using drones, missiles and heavy artillery that left six civilians dead and 16 others wounded, according to the president’s office. Energy and water facilities were struck in Zelenskyy’s native city of Kryvyi Rih, leaving several districts without electricity or water.

By IANS Updated: Nov 03, 2022 10:16:04 pm
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