Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power PlantInternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Friday he was “deeply concerned” over the security situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), as the IAEA experts present there had reported about hearing explosions almost every day for the past week. In late March, Grossi visited the ZNPP for the second time since the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. He inspected the ZNPP together with the plant’s management and responsible technical staff “to assess first-hand the serious nuclear safety and security situation at the facility and underline the urgent need to protect it,” the IAEA said. “I saw clear indications of military preparations in the area when I visited the [Zaporozhye] Nuclear Power Plant just over three weeks ago. Since then, our experts at the site have frequently reported about hearing detonations, at times suggesting intense shelling not far from the site. I’m deeply concerned about the situation at the plant,” Grossi said in a statement released by the IAEA. The agency’s recent reports emphasize “the serious nuclear safety and security risks facing Europe’s largest nuclear power plant,” the IAEA secretary general added. Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineGrossi Sees No Offensive Weapons at Zaporozhye NPP: Russia’s Rosenergoatom29 March, 17:52 GMTMoreover, the IAEA experts have detected significant damage to windows in the turbine hall of Unit 4 of the ZNPP, the statement read. The agency believes that the previously reported landmines explosions could not have caused these defects. In this regard, Grossi expressed his desire to “continue pressing for protection of the plant so that there is no attack on the facility and also that the facility is not used to launch attacks,” the IAEA said. Located on the left bank of the Dnipro River, the ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe by number of units and energy output. It came under Russia’s control in early March 2022 and has since been repeatedly shelled, raising international concerns over a possible nuclear accident. An international mission led by Grossi first visited the plant from August 31 to September 5. IAEA observers have since been staying at the plant on a rotational basis. Following the visit by the mission, the IAEA published a report in which it confirmed multiple attacks on the ZNPP.