Disaster fears as Europe's biggest nuclear plant in Ukraine is shelled
‘You’re playing with fire’: Disaster fears as Europe’s biggest nuclear plant in Ukraine is shelled again
- Both sides have accused the other of targeting Europe’s largest nuclear plant
- Moscow and Kyiv negotiations over the plant are ‘so far without agreement’
- Western allies sceptical Kyiv would try to provoke a nuclear disaster on own soil
Europe’s largest nuclear plant has been rocked by explosions after repeated shelling ended a ‘period of relative calm’ at the Russian-controlled site in Ukraine.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said those behind the attack at the Zaporizhzhia power plant were ‘playing with fire’.
Agency director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi said more than a dozen explosions were heard yesterday morning, but his team at the site was told there was no damage to areas ‘critical for nuclear safety and security’.
Mr Grossi said: ‘Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire.’
The International Atomic Energy Agency said those behind the attack at the Zaporizhzhia power plant (pictured above last month) were ‘playing with fire’
The explosions had ‘abruptly ended a period of relative calm at the facility and further underlined the urgent need for measures to help prevent a nuclear accident there’.
Mr Grossi said he was determined to demilitarise the area around the plant.
Negotiations with Moscow and Kyiv have been ongoing but ‘so far without agreement’. Both sides have accused the other of targeting the massive site, but Ukraine’s western allies are sceptical that Kyiv would try to provoke a nuclear disaster on its own soil.
Ukrainian nuclear energy agency Energoatom said: ‘This morning… as a result of numerous Russian shelling, at least 12 hits were recorded on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.’ It accused Moscow of ‘once again… putting the whole world at risk’.
Both sides have accused the other of targeting the massive site, but Ukraine’s western allies are sceptical that Kyiv would try to provoke a nuclear disaster on its own soil
Russian state media, meanwhile, blamed Ukraine, with an official saying the plant’s cooling system and storage area for spent nuclear fuel were both hit.
The facility, which provided a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity before Russia’s invasion, has been forced to operate on back-up generators several times since it was occupied by Russian forces soon after the war began.
Meanwhile, a key adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky rebuffed suggestions that Kyiv should negotiate with Russia.
‘When you have the initiative on the battlefield, it’s slightly bizarre,’ Mykhaylo Podolyak said last night.
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