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Russia bombs Zaporizhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe

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Ground Report | New Delhi: Russia largest nuclear power; A Russian bombardment has impacted the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, located in central Ukraine, early this Friday, causing a fire and affecting one of its units, as reported by the spokesman for this plant.

“Following a bombardment by Russian forces at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, a fire has broken out,” said Andrei Tuz in a video posted on the plant’s Telegram account. “The firefighters cannot reach the place of the fire and extinguish it. The shells fall very close. The first electrical unit of the plant has already been affected. Stop this!”, he added.

Just over an hour later, the emergency services in Ukraine considered the fire extinguisher. “At 06:20 local time (5:20 a.m., Spanish time), the fire in (…) the Zaporizhia nuclear plant, in Energodar, has been extinguished. There are no victims,” ​​they reported on Facebook, according to AFP.

The Ukrainian authorities have indicated that safety at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was “guaranteed”, that only a training building and a laboratory have been affected by the fire and that the flames have not affected “essential” equipment.

Hours later, Ukraine’s state nuclear regulator confirmed that Russian t clothes have taken control of the plant, although the plant’s staff controls the state of the blocks and guarantees their correct operation, reports Efe.

The plant’s reactors remain intact and there have been no changes in the radiation status at the present time, the regulator says. Specialists from this organization are in contact with the engineers of the atomic plant.

The president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, spoke immediately after the docking, to warn that Europe is facing a nuclear catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. The president has stressed that the bombing of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been carried out on purpose, not by mistake.

“Those tanks are equipped with thermal cameras, they know where they shoot. They had prepared for this. I appeal to anyone who knows the word Chernobyl. Russia wants to repeat Chernobyl, but multiplied by six,” the Ukrainian president said in a speech.

Zelensky recalled that Ukraine has 15 nuclear power plants, and alluded to Russia’s threat to cover Europe with “nuclear ashes”, a dialectical attack that, according to him, is no longer a pure hypothesis but a preconceived plan that Russia is preparing to implement.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that a terrorist state has resorted to nuclear terror. It is not a threat, now it is real. The Russian army must be stopped immediately. If there is an explosion, it will be the end of everything. The end of Europe. Europe will have to be evacuated. Let’s not allow Europe to die in this catastrophe,” he added.

Russia has denied having attacked the Zaporizhia plant and denounced that the incident at this facility was a “provocation” carried out by a Ukrainian sabotage group. “The goal of the Kyiv regime’s provocation at this nuclear facility was the attempt to accuse Russia of creating a source of radioactive contamination,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

The International Atomic Energy Organization ( IAEA ) has indicated that the Ukrainian authorities have not detected changes in radiation levels in the plant after the Russian attack.

“The Ukrainian regulator has assured the IAEA that there are no recorded changes in radiation levels in Zaporizhia,” the UN body tweeted. Last Wednesday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been informed by the Ukrainian authorities that Russian troops were near Zaporizhia, and again warned that military actions that pose a security risk must be avoided.

Built in 1985 under the umbrella of the Soviet Union, the Zaporizhia plant supplies much of the country’s power. Maintaining routines at a nuclear power plant requires expert personnel and open pathways for certain materials to continue to arrive: “It is vitally important to maintain the capacity of operational teams to ensure safety. In addition, vital supply chains should remain to be available to ensure that the necessary services, equipment and components can reach Ukraine’s nuclear facilities at all times, for example, to carry out emergency repairs”, warned the director of the IAEA, the ArgentineRaphael Grossi.

“Personnel at all nuclear facilities must be able to work and rest. I call on those in effective control of those sites not to commit any act that could compromise their safety or subject them to undue pressure,” the IAEA implored. This same organization also made an appeal not to attack the radioactive cemeteries located in Ukraine after missile impacts were recorded in the radioactive cemetery in Kyiv without verifying the existence of leaks.

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  • Wahid Bhat

    Wahid Bhat is an environmental journalist with a passion for covering climate change and environmental issues. He holds a degree in English Journalism (EJ) from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and has received Media Fellow for NFI India (National Foundation for India) and Thomson Reuters Foundation. Wahid's reporting has been published in a range of respected outlets including Earth Journalism, Global Village Space, The Quint, Youth Ki Awaaz, and Devdiscourse Wahidb@groundreport.in