|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant|
I thank Director General Grossi for his briefing.
China has been closely following the issue of the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine, and is deeply concerned by the recent shelling on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. According to the information obtained by the IAEA from Ukraine’s nuclear regulator, the shelling did not pose an immediate threat to nuclear safety, and the radiation level remained normal. Nevertheless, the shelling did cause damage to the physical integrity of the plant, its safety and security system, power supply and personnel safety, which sounded a nuclear alarm to the international community.
The safety and security of nuclear sites must not be subjected to trial and error. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is one of the largest such plants in Europe. If a large scale accident occurs at this plant, the consequences would be more devastating. than that of the Fukushima nuclear accident. The leakage of massive quantities of radioactive materials caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the resulting nuclear-contaminated water have far reaching consequences for the marine environment, food safety, and human health, thereby sparking widespread interests and concerns. China does not want to see the same risks playing out again. We call on the parties concerned to exercise restraint, act with caution, refrain from any action that may compromise nuclear safety and security, and spare no effort to minimize the possibility of accidents.
China always suppose the IAEA’s active role in promoting nuclear safety and security and performing its safeguard duties in strict accordance with its mandate. We have noted that Director General Grossi and the IAEA team of experts have been planning to visit the the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Secretary-General Guterres has also issued an appeal for this purpose. Russia has undertaken to provide necessary assistance to the visit. We are also aware that Ukraine, in its letter to Director General Grossi and Secretary-General Guterres dated August 9, underscored the increasing necessity of organizing such a visit. We hope that existing obstacles can be cleared as soon as possible, so that the mission by Director General Grossi and the IAEA team of experts can materialize without delay, and that they will be able to conduct their work without impediment.
The Ukraine crisis has been dragging on for over five months. The security risks posed by the conflict to nuclear facilities are looming large throughout. Only by defusing the situation and restoring peace at an early date, can we fundamentally remove nuclear risks, reduce misjudgment, and avoid accidents. Once again, we call on all parties concerned to resume negotiations as early as possible, seek a solution to the Ukraine crisis in a cool-headed and rational fashion, address each other’s legitimate security concerns, and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, so as to achieve common security. It is China’s consistent position that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, and countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected. We call upon all parties in the international community to act responsibly to facilitate a proper solution of the crisis, and step up political and diplomatic efforts in order to create conditions for the parties concerned to return to the negotiating table. China will continue its constructive role in this regard.