Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

There are no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, despite weekend shelling that caused extensive damage, the UN atomic watchdog said after its experts toured the site.

“They were able to confirm that – despite the ferocity of the shelling – key equipment remained intact and there were no immediate concerns for nuclear safety or security,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement released on Monday evening.

Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame for at least a dozen explosions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which came under Russian control shortly after it invaded the country on February 24 but is across the Dnieper River from Kiev-controlled territory.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on NATO members to guarantee protection against “Russian sabotage” in nuclear facilities. The head of Russia’s state nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, said he had discussed Sunday’s shelling with the IAEA and said there was a risk of a nuclear accident.

The attack came as fighting raged further east following the movement of Russian troops into the industrial Donbass region from around Ukraine’s recently recaptured Kherson in the south.