Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant ukraine
A Russian all-terrain armoured vehicle is parked outside the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, September 1, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Vienna: Diplomatic efforts to establish a nuclear safety and security zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ukraine are “making headway”, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said.

The aim is to “agree and implement the much-needed measure soon”, he said in a statement on Friday - a day after he met and consulted with senior Russian officials on the matter in Moscow, Xinhua news agency reported.

Grossi said consultations with both Russia and Ukraine would continue in the near future to achieve the goal.

“It’s key that the zone focuses solely on preventing a nuclear accident. I am continuing my efforts towards this goal with a sense of utmost urgency,” he said.

The Zaporizhzhia plant, one of Europe’s largest nuclear power plants, has been controlled by Russian forces since early March. Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations of strikes on the facility, the latest of which happened in late November.

According to Grossi’s statement on Friday, although the Zaporizhzhia plant “has been relatively quiet” in recent weeks, “the clear sound of military activity can still be heard in the vicinity of the facility, underlining persistent nuclear safety and security risks.”

“The situation remains extremely precarious and potentially dangerous, and the protection zone remains urgently needed,” Grossi said.

Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said.