The nuclear agency warns of renewed shelling of the Ukrainian facility


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dated: 2022-11-20 14:30:05 .

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Powerful explosions rocked Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, on Sunday morning, the global nuclear regulator said in a statement, calling for “urgent action to prevent a nuclear accident” at the Russian-held facility. .

Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said two explosions – one on Saturday night and the other on Sunday morning – near the Zaporizhia power plant abruptly ended a period of relative calm around the nuclear facility, which had been the scene of fighting between Russian and of Ukrainian forces since the beginning of the war on February 24.

The fear of nuclear disaster has been paramount since Russian troops occupied the plant in the early days of the invasion of Ukraine. The ongoing fighting in the area has increased the fear of disaster.

Amid what appeared to be renewed shelling nearby and in place, IAEA experts at the Zaporizhia facility reported hearing more than a dozen explosions in a short period of time on Sunday morning, the statement said, adding that an IAEA team could see the explosion from their office windows.

Several plant buildings, systems and equipment – none critical to the plant’s nuclear safety – were damaged in the shelling, the IAEA said in a statement, citing information from the plant’s management. There are no reports of casualties.

Grossi said the shelling reports were “extremely disturbing”. He added: “Whoever is behind this must stop immediately.

“As I have often said, you are playing with fire!” Grossi said and appealed to both sides in the conflict to urgently agree on a nuclear safety zone around the nuclear plant and to implement it.

Russia has bombed Ukraine’s power grid and other vital infrastructure from the air, causing widespread power outages for millions of Ukrainians amid cold winter weather as the capital Kyiv and other cities were blanketed in snow.


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The nuclear agency warns of renewed shelling of the Ukrainian facility

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