“No shelling”? How about “No nukes”!

IAEA presser_2022_IAEAimagebank

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors who visited Ukraine’s 6-reactor Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant last week, along with their chief, Rafael Grossi (pictured during the post-inspection press conference), and the UN have called for a security zone around the plant, embroiled in the war in Ukraine, with the invading Russians occupying the site since early March. Specifically, Grossi called the situation around the plant. “playing with fire.” The IAEA report just released that covers the visit, recommends “a nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the plant and that “shelling on site and in its vicinity should be stopped immediately”.

But while the agency may recommend a halt to shelling directed at or near the plant, and recognizes the high risks, asking for reactors not to be attacked in a conflict zone is disingenuous. Neither the IAEA nor any other entity can guarantee enforcement of a protective zone and warfare is unpredictable. Furthermore, the IAEA remains in the business of promoting that same “fire” worldwide, allowing future nations to “play” with it in exactly the same way should a war break out in another country where nuclear power plants are present.

Instead, nuclear power must be phased out worldwide, given its obvious risks in both wartime and the climate crisis.

Headline photo: IAEA image bank/Wikimedia Commons.


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