Military action is increasing around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Grossi said Tuesday.
Speaking from Dnipro in Ukraine ahead of a visit to the plant, Grossi said the situation “is not getting any better.”
“Military action continues,” he told CNN’s Lynda Kinkade. “In fact, it is increasing. There are growing numbers of troops, and military vehicles, heavy artillery, more military action around the plant.”
The plant has been “in blackout repeatedly,” Grossi added.
The director general’s visit will be his second to the plant and his first since the IAEA established a permanent presence at the site in September last year, the agency said in a statement Saturday.
“I want to see what the situation is for myself, talk to the management there, which is the Russian management,” Grossi told CNN.
Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy monopoly, Rosatom, said Tuesday that Russia is ready to discuss the situation at the plant with Grossi.
“In a few hours myself and my team, we are going to cross the front line again — as we did last year,” Grossi said. “I am going to continue my consultations in order to try to establish a protection around the plant and spare us all from a nuclear accident with potential catastrophic consequences.”
The IAEA chief said the current risk level at the plant is “extremely high and it’s totally unpredictable, precisely because we are in a combat zone.”
On Monday, Grossi met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was visiting the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro regions. Later, in his nightly address on Monday, Zelensky thanked Grossi for his support.
CNN’s Anna Chernova and Sarah Dean contributed reporting.