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More Shelling as Support Grows for a ZNPP Security Zone

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Even with "detailed talks" underway aimed at establishing a nuclear safety and security zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), there was more shelling this week at the plant — and a near-miss at the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. The idea of a safety zone around Zaporizhzhia gained momentum with high-level talks Sep. 22 in New York convened by French President Emmanuel Macron. This was bolstered by a statement from nine countries after the meeting supporting a continued International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presence at the plant, the IAEA's seven nuclear safety and security pillars outlined earlier in the conflict, and the establishment of a zone. While in New York, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, who co-chaired the meeting with Macron, also met separately with the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba, as part of an effort to reach an agreement soon on establishing the proposed zone. On Sep. 19 Ukraine said that an explosion had occurred that morning "around 300 meters" from the South Ukraine NPP, impacting three power lines and damaging windows, according to an IAEA statement. Renewed shelling at ZNPP Sep. 21 damaged electrical cables and temporarily forced one of the six reactor units to rely on emergency diesel generators, the IAEA reported.

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