War in Ukraine: Nuclear Disaster Warning After Power Plant Bombing ‘Very Real Risk’ | World | New

Ukraine: strikes reported near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

The nuclear power plant, located on the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine, was taken over by Russian forces in March.

It is the largest of its kind in Europe, with six reactors.

The factory was the target of a bombardment on Friday. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of carrying out the attack.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a statement: “I am extremely concerned by yesterday’s bombing of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which highlights the risk very real nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond.”

Mr Grossi, who heads the UN’s nuclear watchdog, urged all parties to the Ukrainian conflict to exercise “maximum restraint” around the plant.

He said military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia plant “is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs”.

The IAEA chief added: “Any military firepower directed to or from the facility would be tantamount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences.”

Shells hit a high-voltage power line at the plant, prompting its operators to disconnect a reactor when no radioactive leak was detected.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.  BOX: Smoke billowing from an entrance in March

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. BOX: Smoke billowing from an entrance in March (Image: Reuters)

A Russian serviceman patrols the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

A Russian serviceman patrols the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (Image: Getty)

Even though the factory was captured by Russian forces in the opening phase of the war, it is still run by its Ukrainian technicians.

Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom blamed Russia for damage to the plant, but the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukrainian forces of bombing the plant, saying a radiation leak was not prevented only by luck.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was responsible and accused it of committing “an open and shameless crime, an act of terror”. He called for sanctions against the entire Russian nuclear industry.

Earlier this week, the UN’s nuclear watchdog requested access to the plant, which Washington claims Moscow is using as a shield on the battlefield. He said the power plant was “completely out of control”.

Those fears were later played down by a Western official who said the site was “still working effectively”, although it was “degraded to normal levels of operation”.

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the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located in the Russian-controlled area of ​​Enerhodar, seen from Nikopo

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located in the Russian-controlled area of ​​Enerhodar (Image: Getty)

A screenshot captured from video shows a view of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during a fire following clashes around the site

A screenshot captured from a video shows a view of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during a fire (Image: Getty)

The plant is about 160 miles (200 km) northwest of the Russian port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine.

Further east of the city, Kyiv and Moscow both claimed small advances. Russian artillery shelled towns and villages over a wide area in a now familiar tactic.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, came under renewed shelling early yesterday (5 August). Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terehov said on Telegram: “All of Kharkiv has heard the sounds. Rescue teams are on the spot.”

The southern city of Mykolaiv was shelled last night and one person was killed, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said on Telegram. He said 22 people were injured, 21 private homes and five residential buildings damaged.

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Russian military might in numbers (Picture: Express)

The UN’s atomic watchdog announced in June that it had again lost connection with its watchdog systems that track nuclear materials at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

It was the second time the connection had been lost within the month. The Ukrainian nuclear operator said a few days later that it had restored its connection.

Energoatom said at the time that the link was lost due to “the occupiers” shutting down all Ukrainian mobile operators, including Vodavone, with whom the IAEA has a data transmission contract.

The IAEA said in July that the incident underscored the urgent need to send a mission to the plant.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Image: Getty)

The Defense Ministry raised concerns about the Zaporizhzhia facility on Friday morning.

He said in a statement: “After five months of occupation, Russia’s intentions regarding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remain unclear.

“However, the actions they took at the facility likely compromised the safety and security of normal plant operations.

“Russian forces are likely operating in areas adjacent to the power plant and have used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the west bank of the Dnipro River.

“Russian forces likely used the wider installation area, particularly the adjacent town of Enerhodar, to rest their forces, using the protected status of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from attacks. nocturnal Ukrainians.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday called Moscow’s actions around the plant “the height of irresponsibility”.

Russia has been accused of firing shells dangerously close to the plant in March as its forces took control of it in the first weeks of its invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Blinken told reporters after nuclear non-proliferation talks at the United Nations in New York that Washington had become “deeply concerned” about Moscow using the plant as a military base and firing on Ukrainian forces around her.

He said: “Of course the Ukrainians cannot retaliate for fear that there will be a terrible accident involving the nuclear power plant.”

Mr Blinken alleged that Russia’s actions went beyond the use of a “human shield”, calling it a “nuclear shield”.



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