The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ruled out the use of fuel from the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant for nuclear weapons

Although no materials were found at the Zaporizhzhya NPP that could be used to create nuclear weapons, Moscow still considers it justified to take it under control

Zaporozhye NPP

Fuel reserves at the Zaporozhye NPP can hardly be used to create nuclear weapons, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.

The day before, IAEA experts provided data showing that 30 tons of plutonium and 40 tons of enriched uranium are stored at the Zaporozhye NPP. IAEA Director General Mariano Grossi said that the organization's specialists want to visit the nuclear power plant for verification.

Zakharova stressed that “the data on allegedly 30 tons of plutonium at ZNPP require at least clarification.” According to her, nuclear materials remained at nuclear power plants in the form of fuel, including those already loaded into reactors, as well as spent nuclear fuel (SNF) unloaded into on-site storage facilities.

“Uranium is low-enriched, and the plutonium in SNF cannot be separated without the use of rather complex facilities that exist in only a few countries in the world, and also, due to its isotopic composition, it can hardly be used to create nuclear weapons,” & mdash; noted Zakharova.

Despite this, Zakharova emphasized that Moscow considers taking control of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant by Russian forces justified. “At the same time, we again emphasize the justification for the Russian military to take under the protection of the ZNPP from the point of view of preventing leaks of nuclear and radioactive materials at a nuclear facility located in the zone of a special operation,” — she said.

Ukrainian “Energoatom” previously also called the data on tens of tons of radioactive substances, including plutonium, at the station, “stuffing”. “Neither uranium nor plutonium, which could be used for military purposes, has been stored and is not stored [at the ZNPP]. And stored— fuel assemblies, but this is a completely different story, and it has the name & mdash; nuclear fuel. Which, of course, is available at all nuclear power plants in the world, & mdash; assured in Energoatom.

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Zaporozhye NPP— the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It is located in the city of Energodar. On February 28, four days after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the territory of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant had been taken under control. In early March, a fire broke out near the nuclear power plant. As the Russian Ministry of Defense later claimed, on the night of March 4, “Ukrainian sabotage groups” attacked a patrol of the National Guard.

On February 19, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, during a speech at a security conference in Munich, said that in the absence of security guarantees for Kyiv, the country would abandon the Budapest Memorandum, which provided for Ukraine's renunciation of nuclear weapons. The possibility of developing nuclear weapons in Ukraine was called one of the existing threats by the Russian authorities. On May 24, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, commenting on the reasons for the start of hostilities by Russian troops in Ukraine, said that there was “a real threat of Ukraine creating nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles.”

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