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At least three injured in Ukrainian attack on Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant

Multiple Ukrainian explosive-laden drones targeted the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant on Sunday. Several locations across the facility were hit, with at least three employees injured in the attack, Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom said in a statement on Sunday.

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The nuclear power station, Europe’s largest, came under Moscow’s control in 2022, early on in the Ukraine conflict. Rosatom formally took it over after Zaporozhye Region was incorporated into Russia following a referendum in the autumn of that year.  

Kiev has repeatedly claimed that Moscow keeps heavy weaponry on the premises of the power plant. Russia has accused Ukraine of shelling the facility and risking a major nuclear incident.  

According to a Telegram post by the facility’s Russian management, one kamikaze UAV struck near the power plant’s canteen, damaging a nearby truck. Another drone exploded in the vicinity of the cargo port. The attack on the plant’s canteen left at least three employees injured, Rosatom said in a separate statement.

“20 minutes before the attack, [International Atomic Energy Agency] experts were conducting an inspection of this territory,” the management said.   

In a subsequent post, the power plant’s representatives accused the Ukrainian military of targeting the dome of the sixth power unit, but no critical damage or casualties were reported. It also said that radiation levels around the power plant remained normal.  

READ MORE: UN responds to Ukrainian attack near Russian nuclear plant

TASS quoted the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant’s chief communications officer, Evgenia Yashina, as confirming that “neither power plant staff, nor IAEA experts were injured” in the attack. She added that the international nuclear watchdog would be shown the impact sites where the Ukrainian drones exploded.    

The management of the facility stressed, however, that “no nuclear power plant in the world is built to withstand full-scale fire impact by an armed force.”  

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on the “IAEA and its leadership to actively use the experts present at the station to publicly record all cases of attacks from the Ukrainian side and clearly state where the threat to the safe operation of this facility really comes from.”  

Commenting on Ukrainian strikes earlier this week, which threatened to cut off the power plant from its source of electricity needed for cooling, the international nuclear watchdog said it was aware of the incident and was studying it.

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