Construction of dome over ZNPP nuclear waste facility begins: Official
A Russian official says a dome designed to protect the ZNPP against fragments of shells and IEDs is being constructed.
Vladimir Rogov, a senior official in the Zaporozhye regional government, revealed on Saturday that a protective dome is now being mounted over the nuclear waste storage at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) to shield it from shell fragments.
"A protective dome is being mounted at the ZNPP over the storage facility for spent nuclear waste," Rogov wrote on Telegram.
According to the official, the dome is designed to protect against fragments of shells and improvised explosive devices carried by drones.
In the same context, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, considered that "there are chances of reaching an agreement" about a protection zone around the ZNPP, but it would be too early to say that the deal is close at hand.
According to Ulyanov, "Last Monday, a meeting between the IAEA director-general and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal was held in Paris on Monday. As far as we know, this topic was discussed in detail during these talks. Therefore, the process continues and there are chances of reaching an agreement."
"At the same time, it would be too early to say that we are approaching an agreement. And I would not make any forecasts on when the negotiation process may be over," the Russian official added.
Located on the left bank of the Dnipro River, the ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Amid the war in Ukraine, the station and surrounding area went under the control of the Russian forces and have since been shelled multiple times.
In late November, an advisor to the head of Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, warned that Ukrainian shelling of the ZNPP may lead to a real nuclear disaster.
On Tuesday, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia highly appreciates and continues talks with the IAEA on the security of the ZNPP.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said earlier that work on ensuring the safety and security of the ZNNP was in progress.
In early December, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that it was untimely to say that Russia and Ukraine were close to agreeing on the creation of a safety zone around the ZNPP, as it was unclear whether Kiev was ready to stop the shelling of the plant.
Zakharova had warned that the shelling on the ZNPP was nearing a critical stage that might lead to a disaster.