The inspectors will assess physical damage to the plant, ensure its safety and security systems are functional and evaluate the condition of staff, the IAEA says. Grossi said they would produce a report on their findings.
Since its capture by Russia in March, the plant has been controlled by Russian troops but operated by Ukrainian staff. One of its reactors was forced to shut down on Thursday due to shelling.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his frequent calls that all troops be removed from the plant — a demand supported by Kyiv’s Western allies and the United Nations.
“The main thing that must happen is the demilitarization of the station’s territory,” Zelenskyy said in a video address late on Thursday. “Demilitarization and full control of Ukrainian nuclear workers.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday Moscow was doing everything to ensure that the plant could operate safely, and for the IAEA inspectors to be able to complete their tasks.
Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Thursday it was being discussed that certain IAEA specialists — “up to two individuals” — will be permanently stationed at the plant.
“But it is important for us that the station must be under national control, meaning that the station must be returned to the control of Ukraine,” he told Ukraine’s 1+1 television channel.
Several towns near the nuclear plant came under Russian shelling on Thursday, Zaporizhzhia regional council mayor Mykola Lukashuk said. Reuters was unable to independently confirm this.
Ukraine’s general staff on Friday said Russian forces “did not carry out active offensive actions in the Zaporizhzhia direction.”
The plant sits on the south bank of a huge reservoir on the Dnieper River that divides Russian and Ukrainian forces in central southern Ukraine. Before the war, it supplied more than a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity.