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Russian shells hit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: officials

05.08.2022 21:30
Three Russian missiles on Friday hit a high-voltage power line at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest such plant in Europe, Ukrainian officials have said.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Enerhodar, southeastern Ukraine, seen on May 1, 2022.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Enerhodar, southeastern Ukraine, seen on May 1, 2022. PAP/EPA/Sergei Ilnitsky

The shelling was reported by Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company Enerhoatom, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Enerhoatom said that “the plant still works and no radioactive leak has been detected,” adding that “by resorting to terror, the invaders are putting the whole civilised world in danger.”

Earlier, Russian occupation authorities in the nearby city of Enerhodar said that Ukrainian shells struck the lines at the plant. 

The Russian Interfax news agency quoted the city authorities as saying that “fire had broken out on the plant's premises,” and that “power necessary for the safe functioning of reactors had been cut off.”

Russia using Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to launch attacks: UK

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine was captured by Russian troops in March, in the early days of the war. At the moment, it is being operated under Russian supervision, news outlets reported.

The power station is located about 200 km northwest of the Russian-held port of Mariupol.

Built in the 1980s, it consists of six pressurised water reactors and stores radioactive waste, according to the BBC.

In its daily intelligence update on Friday, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that Russia was using the area to launch attacks, taking advantage of the plant’s "protected status" to limit the risk of overnight assaults from Ukrainian units.

Earlier this week, the chief of the United Nations' nuclear agency, Rafael Grossi, warned that the Zaporizhzhia plant was “completely out of control.” 

Any accident at the power station could have catastrophic consequences, the BBC reported.

Friday was day 163 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, bbc.com