Thursday, May 23, 2024

Russia-Ukraine conflict: No damage to reactors at nuclear plant, says IAEA

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No damage was done to the reactors at Ukraine’s Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant and there was no release of radioactive material after a projectile hit a nearby building on the site overnight, U.N. atomic chief Rafael Grossi said on Friday.

Two members of security staff were injured when the projectile hit overnight after the Ukrainian authorities reported a battle with Russian troops near Europe’s biggest power plant, which is operating at just a small fraction of its capacity with one of its six units still running.

“What we understand is that this projectile is a projectile that is coming from the Russian forces. We do not have details about the kind of projectile,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi told a news conference.

Russia’s Defence Ministry on Friday blamed the attack on Ukrainian “saboteurs”.

Grossi showed an overhead shot of the facility with the training facility that was hit close to but clearly separate from the row of reactor buildings.

The radiation monitoring system at the site was functioning normally and there had been no release of radioactive material, Grossi said.

He suggested meeting Russian and Ukrainian officials at defunct power plant Chernobyl, where Russia has seized the radioactive waste facilities near the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, so that they could commit not to do anything to endanger nuclear security in Ukraine.

Staff on duty at Chernobyl have not been rotated out since it was seized last week despite repeated appeals by Grossi. The situation at Zaporozhzhia was similar in that Russia controls it but Ukrainian staff continue to operate it.

“For the time being it is purely Ukrainian staff running the operations there. What we have in this case as we speak this morning at quarter to 11 what we have is in Chernobyl and in Zaporozhzhia we have effective control of the site in the hands of Russian military forces. I hope the distinction is clear,” Grossi said.Russia-Ukraine conflict: No damage to reactors at nuclear plant, says IAEA


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