The Chief of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, today (2 Aug) said the situation in the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine is “really a volatile one” and explained that the Agency has not been able to access the plant as “it requires the understanding and the cooperation of a number of actors.”


Grossi, the Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said, “it a Ukrainian facility. So, it requires Ukraine to agree with it, to be comfortable with it, and to help me carry out the mission. At the same time the plant is occupied by Russia.”

He said, “we are in a war zone. So, the military operations, the military trends are influencing this heavily. If you look at the map, where Zaporizhzhia - the nuclear power plant, the location as well – seats, you will see that this, if not at the heart, it is in a place where it's under active military operations.”

Turning to Iran, Grossi said, “Iran of 2022 is - the nuclear program - is very different from the one in 2015. I think everybody recognizes that, starting with the Iranians who are saying that they are making, you know, strides and amazing advances and the program is moving ahead very, very fast. And not only ahead but sideways as well, because it's growing in ambition and in capacity. That doesn't mean we cannot verify it. But quite clearly, we need the degree of access commensurate with the characteristics of that program.”

The Director General stressed that “all activities in Iran are under strict IAEA verification.”

Asked about Israel’s status, he said there “regular exhortations” for Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), but Israel, “to the best of my knowledge has not decided to join the NPT yet.”

Grossi said, “I don't comment on intentions of countries. So, when I said about Iran, I said about Israel, it’s the same. So, we cannot tell countries what to do or judge on their intentions. This is the reality, there is a process. And you know, for us, every country should be a member of the NPT. This is my personally held conviction. Everybody should join the NPT no doubt about it.”

Grossi in in New York for the month-long review conference of the NPT at UN Headquarters, which began on Monday.  

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