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Russia deploys Grad rocket launchers at Zaporizhzhia NPP in preparation for a provocation, says Ukraine’s Enerhoatom

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Russia has deployed several Grad multiple rocket launchers on the site of the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) and is preparing another provocation at the plant, according to a statement published by Ukrainian energy operator Enerhoatom.

Russia has deployed the launchers near Power Unit No. 6, in the immediate vicinity of the spent nuclear fuel storage area, the statement said. Earlier, “protective structures” were built there in secret, violating all conditions for nuclear and radiation safety.

“The most probable provocation that is being prepared is the firing of the ‘Grad’ from the opposite bank of the Dnipro, in particular Nikopol and Marganets, from the ZNPP site using ‘cover’ – power units and SNF [spent nuclear fuel] storage facilities.”

The company appealed to the IAEA and the world nuclear community, calling once again for the creation of a safe zone in and around the plant, which would requires its complete demilitarization and de-occupation.

In November, after dozens of shells fell near the plant, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi once again appealed to the warring parties and urged them to agree and introduce a nuclear safety zone around ZNPP as soon as possible. In September, the IAEA published a report after an inspection at ZNPP, which stated that all seven nuclear safety rules at the plant had been violated and that there was a risk of a “nuclear incident” if the shelling continued.

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