Nightly explosions near nuclear power plant Ukraine are ‘playing with fire!’ – Nuclear chief of the UN

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Powerful explosions shook the area of ​​Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), “bringing an abrupt end to a period of relative calm” at the facility, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said on Sunday.

Powerful explosions shook the area of ​​Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), “bringing an abrupt end to a period of relative calm” at the facility, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said on Sunday.

In a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said the explosions last night and this morning again underscored “the urgent need for action to help prevent a nuclear accident there”.

“As I’ve said before, you’re playing with fire!”.

Renewed shelling

In what appeared to be renewed shelling near and at the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, IAEA experts on the ground reported more than a dozen explosions were heard in a short space of time in the morning local time.

The IAEA team was also able to see some of the explosions from their windows.

“The news from our team yesterday and this morning is extremely disturbing,” said Mr. Grossi.

Citing information from plant management, the IAEA team said there was damage to some buildings, systems and equipment at the site, but it was not critical to nuclear safety and security.

“There were explosions at the site of this large nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable,” he added. “Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately.”

According to news reports, Russian and Ukrainian nuclear power authorities each blamed the other side’s forces, sparking fears of a serious nuclear accident. So far, there have been no reports of radiation leaks from the Russian-occupied factory.

Nuclear Free Zone

The IAEA experts said no casualties have been reported and they are in close contact with the site’s management.

As they continue to assess and update the situation, the IAE chief reiterated his urgent call that both sides of the conflict agree to establish a nuclear safety and security zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible.

In recent months, he has held intensive talks with Ukraine and Russia about establishing a zone, but so far no agreement has been reached.

“I will not give up until this zone becomes a reality,” said Mr. Grossi. “As the continued apparent shelling shows, it is more necessary than ever.”



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