The International Atomic Energy Agency has expressed concern over the bombing of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia during the fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces. The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, on Saturday warned of the danger of a nuclear catastrophe that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond. external
He was “extremely concerned” about Friday’s events. “Any military firepower targeting or emanating from the facility would be playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” Grossi said. Threatening the security of Zaporizhia must be avoided “at all costs”. The Russian military occupied Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in March, but the Ukrainian state-owned company Energoatom and its workforce are still running it.
Ukraine and the United States accuse Russia of using the nuclear power plant as a protective shield. Russia refuses, and Energoatom on Friday shut down one of the six reactors after an artillery shell damaged a high-voltage power line vital to the operation. Ukraine and Russia blamed each other for the bombing and accused each other of risking nuclear disaster. According to information from Energoatom, no radioactivity escaped. Energoatom and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which reports to the United Nations, have repeatedly complained that the operational safety of Zaporizhia has been damaged by military action. The IAEA’s access to remote monitoring systems has been interrupted several times. In 1986, in the days of the Soviet Union, the most serious disaster to date occurred at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
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