Ukrainian troops have shelled Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant over the last two days, Renat Karchaa, an adviser at Russia’s state nuclear operator Rosenergoatom, said.
Karchaa said the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant was targeted on Sunday morning following a barrage fired at the facility the previous day, when six projectiles hit the cooling system of one of the rectors and two struck the radioactive waste storage. He added that the employees were unharmed.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the plant was shelled twice on Sunday, while 11 “large-caliber artillery shells” were fired on Saturday. The ministry said that projectiles fell close to the reactors, and that the fire was also directed at power lines.
“It is impossible to assess the consequences of the shelling because there is a danger of new attacks,” Karchaa said. The plant had not been targeted that much since late September. according to the official.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose team is monitoring the situation on the ground, said that “more than a dozen blasts were heard within a short period of time” on Sunday. It added that experts could see some of the explosions from their windows.
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“Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
Russian soldiers seized the plant shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Zaporozhye Region, together with three other former Ukrainian territories, eventually joined Russia after holding referendums on the matter in September.
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