Share This Article
The chief of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), Rafael Mariano Grossi, has issued a warning over the fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine. He says he is “extremely concerned” that fighting and artillery strikes in the vicinity of the plant have created “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond.”
Russia and Ukraine continue to blame each other for the strikes near the plant – the largest nuclear plant of its kind in Europe. Videos posted to social media claim to show smoke rising from the complex and some have reported that the plant may be damaged.
Something is burning strongly near Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Reportedly at the insistence of 3 km. Now.
No sounds of explosions have yet been reported. pic.twitter.com/KJtIzWf1zy
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) August 11, 2022
Both sides have accused each other of “nuclear terrorism” while the IAEA called for the “utmost restraint.”
Moscow officials have stated, “Radiation levels around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant normal.”
Russian troops have occupied the site since the early weeks of the war, making it unlikely that it is the Kremlin’s forces that are shelling the plant.
Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Press Service, Ivan Nechaev, stated, “Over the past few days, Ukrainian forces have shelled the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant several times, which is an act of nuclear terrorism. Such actions by the Kiev regime can lead to a catastrophe on a scale much greater than the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant [in April 1986].”
Ukraine claims the accusations are false. The UN Security Council plans to hold an emergency meeting to address the crisis on Thursday.
Nechaev commented on the meeting, saying, “We stand for organizing a mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporozhye NPP, which was disrupted in June due to a decision by the Security Department of the UN Secretariat.”
Pro-Ukraine sources have also alleged that Russia uses the nuclear plant to store ammunition.
📽️Russia uses #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as its base, and stores ammunition and military hardware in the complex. UN has already stated that every principle of nuclear safety has been violated.#UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/M19cn9Rr5A
— MilitaryLand.net (@Militarylandnet) August 6, 2022
A statement from the G7 has demanded that Russia turn the complex back over to Ukraine:
“The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its troops from within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and respect Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty.”
“In that context, we demand that Russia immediately hand back full control to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine, of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as well as of all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operations.”
Despite fighting in the area, Energoatom, the company that operates the power plant, has said that the situation at the nuclear facility “remains under control”.