Putin caves over potential nuclear ‘catastrophe’ as Macron to send experts in

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Emmanuel Macron told with Putin on the phone today that he is worried about safety risks surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, the Elysee said.

It added that Putin had agreed to send in experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assess the site. 

According to a Kremlin readout of the call, Putin said the shelling of the plant, which he blamed on Kyiv, created the risk of “large-scale catastrophe”.

A readout sent to journalists from Macron’s office added that the pair will continue to have talks over the coming days.

Ukraine’s nuclear power operator announced today that it suspected Moscow was planning to decouple the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from Ukraine’s grid.

Kyiv warns this complex operation could cause a disaster.

The IAEA had said that fighting around the nuclear plant is “very alarming”.

One of the main risks facing the plant is the loss of power essential to cooling the reactor core and spent fuel pools. 

Ukraine said Russian shelling in early August damaged three power lines that connect the plant to the Ukrainian grid.

Kyiv warned today that they believe Russia is planning a “large-scale provocation” to justify decoupling the plant from Ukraine’s power grid entirely in order to connect it to Russia’s.

Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s nuclear power operator Energoatom, told Reuters that the process is technically difficult and could result in catastrophe.

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