Ukraine averted disaster during a weekend fighting at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, in which a barrage of shells, some of which landed near reactors and damaged a radioactive waste storage building, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on NATO members to ensure protection from “Russian sabotage” of nuclear facilities.
risk of a nuclear accident
The chief executive of Russia’s state-run nuclear agency, Rosatom, said he had discussed Sunday’s bombing with the International Atomic Energy Agency and that there were risks of a nuclear accident.
The attack came as battles erupted east after Russian forces moved into the industrial Donbass region from the vicinity of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces in the south of the country recaptured recently.
“gamble with souls”
In turn, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that whoever shot the station “is taking great risks and gambling with the lives of many people.”
Comparison of safety measures at the Chernobyl and Zaporizhia stations
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspected the site on Monday. The agency said that during their tour, they discovered extensive damage, but without damaging the station’s basic systems.
No immediate concerns
“They were able to confirm that, despite the intensity of the bombing, major equipment remained intact and there are no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns,” the agency added in a statement issued Monday evening.
It is noteworthy that the repeated bombing of the plant during the war raised fears of a serious catastrophe in the country, which suffered the worst nuclear accident in the world, which is the explosion at the Chernobyl plant in 1986.
On Monday, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of being responsible for at least 12 explosions near the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since the early days of the war on February 24.