Ukraine accuses Russia of again shelling Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

This handout photo taken on September 1, 2022 and obtained from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on September 7, 2022 shows the IAEA team with IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi (C) observing the damage caused by shelling on the roof of the special building at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant that houses, among other items, the fresh nuclear fuel and the solid radioactive waste storage facility, in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine. – An accident at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant would impact not only Ukraine, but also its neighbours, the Ukrainian nuclear agency warned on September 7, 2022. The Zaporizhzhia power plant was occupied by Russian troops in March and has been shelled in recent weeks, with Ukraine and Russia blaming each other for the attacks. On September 6, the UN atomic agency (IAEA) published a report on the “untenable situation” at the nuclear power plant. (Photo by Fredrik DAHL / International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / FREDRIK DAHL / IAEA ” – NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

KYIV, Ukraine (AFP) – The Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom on Wednesday accused Russia of again striking the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant in southern Ukraine.

“Russian terrorists bombed the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant again during the night,” Energoatom said on Telegram.

The strike damaged a power line causing the stoppage of several transformers of the number six reactor of the plant and forcing a brief start of emergency generators, Energoatom said.

“Even the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not stop” the Russians, it said, calling on the agency to “more resolute actions” against Moscow.

Europe’s largest atomic facility, located in Russian-held territory in Ukraine, has become a hot spot for concerns after tit-for-tat claims of attacks there.

The plant was seized by Russian troops in March and shelling around the facility has spurred calls from Kyiv and its Western allies to de-militarize areas around nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

Early in the war there was fighting around Chernobyl in the north, where an explosion in 1986 left swathes of the surrounding territory contaminated.

French President Emmanuel Macron this month urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to withdraw heavy weapons from the Zaporizhzhia region, while the Russian leader cautioned against the potential “catastrophic” consequences of fighting there.

A monitoring team of the IAEA deployed there in early September.

Russia was accused Monday of bombing a third nuclear plant site, the Pivdennoukrainsk plant in the southern Mykolaiv region.

Moscow is stepping up “nuclear blackmail”, said the plant’s director after the strike caused a large crater seen by AFP journalists hundreds of metres from the plant.


© Agence France-Presse


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