risks of “spray of radioactive substances”

There is a risk of « spray of radioactive substances » at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporijjia, occupied by Russian troops, the Ukrainian public operator warned on Saturday.

According to Energoatom, Russian troops have « several times bombed over the last day » the site. « The plant’s infrastructure has been damaged, and there are risks of hydrogen leakage and spraying of radioactive substances, » the agency said on Telegram, adding that there was « a high fire risk « .

The authorities announced Thursday that the plant, the largest in Europe with its six reactors of 1,000 megawatts each, had been « totally disconnected » from the national grid because of damage to the power lines caused by Russian soldiers.

The security of these installations, located near the front line in the south, has been of concern to the international community since they passed into the hands of the Russian military in early March.

Tension has risen further in recent weeks, with Moscow and kyiv blaming each other for strikes on the site, where the Ukrainian military accuses the Russian army of having positioned artillery pieces to shell their positions.

IAEA experts are expected there “next week”

The UN has called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant to secure it and to allow the dispatch of an international inspection mission.

IAEA experts are expected there « next week », according to the adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Energy Lana Zerkal, who accused the Russians of « artificially creating obstacles » to this mission, which Moscow denies. « We cannot afford to waste any more time, » IAEA Director General Mariano Grossi said on Thursday, noting that there was a « very real risk of nuclear disaster. »


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