September 26, 2022


Russia has been accused of firing missiles from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, despite warnings that retaliation could cause a Chernobyl-style disaster.

The Zaporizhzhia factory was seized by Russian forces in early March in the opening stages of the war, although it is still operated by Ukrainian technicians.

Heavy artillery is now reported to be being used near Zaporizhia to launch missiles across the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine.

Although Russia has denied firing strikes from the plant, reports from Ukraine say military trucks were seen entering and exiting the power station.

Experts say it is “highly likely” the trucks were unloading ammunition.

It comes as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that the situation in Zaporizhia “is completely out of control” and is becoming more dangerous by the day.

Raphael Grossi said the “effective” communication from the Zaporizhia facility and his organization’s inability to visit the site was deeply troubling.

An employee smokes next to a wheat warehouse damaged by a Russian missile attack in the Zaporizhzhia region

(Reuters)

“What is at stake is extremely serious and extremely serious and dangerous,” he said.

The power plant was experiencing a “list of things that should never happen at any nuclear facility,” the IAEA director general said.

“And that’s why I’ve been insisting from day one that we should be able to go there to do that safety and security assessment, do the repairs and help like we already did at Chernobyl,” he said.

In addition to the strikes allegedly launched from the plant, the power station has also been hit by attacks that both sides have blamed on the other.

Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power company said Russian forces destroyed three radiation sensors at the facility in fresh shelling on Saturday night, injuring a worker with shrapnel.

In addition to the reported strikes from the plant, the power station has also been hit by attacks that both sides have blamed on the other

(Reuters)

Energoatom said the latest Russian missile attacks hit the plant’s dry storage facility, where 174 containers of spent nuclear fuel were stored outdoors.

“Consequently, early detection and response to a worsening radioactivity situation or radiation leakage from spent nuclear fuel containers is not yet possible,” it said.

Meanwhile, Moscow said Ukraine struck the Russian-installed command of the occupied Enerhodar, where the plant’s employees live, using a 220mm Uragan multiple rocket launcher system.

Mr. Grossi said Friday’s bombing showed the danger of nuclear disaster. Those shells hit a high-voltage power line, prompting plant operators to shut down a reactor, even though no radioactive leak was detected.

“Russian nuclear terror calls for a stronger response from the international community – sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry and nuclear fuel,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted.



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