Nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plantiStock

A team of UN inspectors visited Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant Thursday, after weeks of worry that the Russian occupied site was in danger of collapse.

Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops led to the shutdown of one reactor, leading to International calls to avert a nuclear disaster.

The 14-member International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team was able to visit about months of back-and-forth talks to be able to enter the site, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant.

The inspectors visited the plant led by IAEA director Rafael Grossi, CBC News reported.

The area was being heavily shelled as a convoy of SUV and vans containing the inspection team reached the site, with Russia and Ukraine blaming the other for the firing of weapons.

"There has been increased military activity, including this morning until very recently," Grossi said.

He added that the situation with the facility was severe enough that he decided the visit needed to occur even with the risks involved.

“Weighing the pros and cons and having come so far, we are not stopping,” he said.

Grossi was directly involved in negotiations with Ukrainian officials to allow his team to visit the plant, describing the risks to the operation as “very, very high” but noting “we consider that we have the minimum conditions to move.”

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for "impartiality" from the inspectors.

"We are taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the plant is secure, that it functions safely and that the mission accomplishes all of its plans there," he said.

Zaporizhzhia has been occupied by Russian forces since the beginning of invasion of Ukraine, with Ukrainian engineers continuing day-to-day operations.

"We have a very important mission to accomplish," Grossi said. "We are going to start immediately an assessment of the security and the safety situation at the plant.”

He added: ”I am going to consider the possibility of establishing a continued presence of the IAEA at the plant, which we believe is indispensable to stabilize the situation and to get regular, reliable, impartial, neutral updates of what the situation is there.”