Russia and Ukraine: IAEA warns against ‘playing with fire’ after explosions near Zaporozhye plant

Russia and Ukraine: IAEA warns against ‘playing with fire’ after explosions near Zaporozhye plant
Russia and Ukraine: IAEA warns against ‘playing with fire’ after explosions near Zaporozhye plant

Russia and Ukraine: IAEA warns against ‘playing with fire’ after explosions near Zaporozhye plant

  • Patrick Anderson
  • BBCLondon

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The Zaporozhye station on the other bank of the Danbero River is under Russian control

The area around the Russian-held Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine has seen more than a dozen powerful explosions since Saturday night.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, urgently appealed for a cessation of fighting in Zaporizhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

“Whoever is behind this must be stopped immediately,” he said. He warned, “You’re playing with fire!”

The station is on the Dnipro River, which is currently the front line in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The Russian military accused Ukrainian forces across the river of shelling the area it controlled. There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainians, who had previously suggested that Russian forces were bombing the area themselves, even though their forces were present there.

The area around the plant, including the nearby Russian-held town of Ennerhudar, had been under regular attacks for months, but a period of calm prevailed before fresh blasts this weekend, which lasted into Sunday morning.

Some of the explosions were seen by observers from the International Atomic Energy Agency from windows of their residence.

The IAEA team, citing information from officials at the site, said some buildings, systems and equipment at the site had been damaged, but so far nothing “that poses a risk to nuclear safety and security”. There were no reports of injuries.

“The news from our team yesterday and this morning is very worrying,” said Grossi. Explosions occurred on the site of the large nuclear power plant, “which is completely unacceptable”.

The IAEA director again called on the warring parties to agree on a nuclear safety zone around the facility and to implement it as soon as possible.

“I will not give up until this region becomes a reality,” he added. “As the constant bombing shows, this area is needed more than ever.”

Russian state media quoted an official from the Russian nuclear power company Rosenergatom as saying that April 15 A grenade fired At the facility’s facilities, it fell near a dry nuclear waste storage facility and a building housing newly spent nuclear fuel, but no radioactive emissions were detected.

Russian troops overran the factory just weeks after Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Russia annexed the Zaporizhia region and other Ukrainian territories in September, but clashes have erupted again in this southern region, particularly in the Kherson region, and there are ongoing clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces across the Dnipro River (in Russian as Dnieper known). Flow).


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