Zaporizhzhia NPP – Unknown objects visible in pictures

The photos by satellite imaging company Planet Labs were taken on July 5, the day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said explosives may have been placed on the station.

The clear new images of the planet, taken at 8:51 a.m. Kyiv time, show five white objects.

In the second image taken at 11:16, only three white objects are visible.

A third image, taken a few hours before the other two, shows no white objects and was taken at 6:27 a.m. Kyiv time, Planet Labs noted.

As Sky News points out, it is impossible to determine what these objects are based on satellite images alone. None of the satellite images sent to Sky News showed any change on top of Reactor 3.

ZAES

Speaking on Tuesday, President Zelensky said: “We have now received information from our intelligence that Russian troops have placed explosive-like materials on the roofs of several power units of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.” He said these facilities are located on top of the third and fourth reactors.

Daria Dolchikova of the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Unit at the Royal Joint Armed Forces Institute (RUSI) said: “It is difficult to assess from the images whether the changes in the roofs are in any way related to explosive devices. These are reported by Ukrainian intelligence and may be on the roofs of ZNPP reactors.”

But getting independent, reliable images is important, he said, and will help verify claims about what’s happening at the nuclear plant.

The IAEA requested additional access to the roofs of the two reactor units, engine rooms and parts of the plant’s cooling system to ensure they were free of explosives.

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IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Croci said: “Our experts can verify the facts on the ground. Their independent and objective reports will help clarify the current situation on site, which is important at a time like this.”

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