Tuesday, October 4, 2022

UN watchdog raises concern over shelling at Ukraine nuclear plant

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has raised grave concern over shelling at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, as its military said Russian forces had attacked dozens of front-line towns.

The head of the IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi has expressed concern over shelling at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

In a statement, Director General IAEA said he is extremely concerned by the shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant which underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster.

The IAEA head raised concerns on the shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Both sides accused each other on Saturday of engaging in “nuclear terrorism”. Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom blamed Russia for the damage while Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant.

Shells hit a high-voltage power line on Friday at the facility, prompting its operators to disconnect a reactor despite no radioactive leak being detected. The plant was captured by Russian forces in early March in the opening stage of the war but it is still run by its Ukrainian technicians.

Energoatom said Russia wanted to disconnect the station from the Ukrainian electricity system and cause blackouts in the south of the country. Moscow’s forces, it said, had placed weapons and explosives in two of the power-generating units and mined the shoreline outside the plant.

“It is highly probable that all of this will cause a nuclear and radiation disaster,” it said in a statement on Saturday.

Russia’s defence ministry said damage to the plant had only been avoided thanks to the “skilful, competent and effective actions” of its units.

Grossi said that military action jeopardising the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia plant is unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs.

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