IAEA chief warns of ‘very real risk’ of disaster at Ukraine nuclear plant

The head of the U.N.’s atomic company warned on Saturday concerning the “very real risk of a nuclear disaster” as a result of the shelling on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant in Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia blamed each other for the bombing on Friday at Zaporizhzhia, the most important nuclear facility in Europe, with each side calling it an act of terror.

“I’m extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,” Rafael Mariano Grossi, the pinnacle of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, stated in a statement on Saturday.

“Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” Grossi added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Russian forces fired twice on the facility. The assault amounted to “an open, brazen crime, an act of terror,” he stated.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense blamed Kyiv for 3 artillery strikes hitting the world of the plant, calling them “acts of nuclear terrorism.”

“According to Ukraine, there has been no damage to the reactors themselves and no radiological release,” Grossi stated. “However, there is damage elsewhere on the site.”

Grossi reiterated his name for a staff of IAEA specialists to have the ability to go to the Zaporizhzhia website, to offer “impartial and independent information about the status” of the ability.

“The Ukrainian staff operating the plant under Russian occupation must be able to carry out their important duties without threats or pressure undermining not only their own safety but also that of the facility itself,” Grossi stated.

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko has rejected a possible IAEA go to to the plant so long as it’s nonetheless below Russian management, because it has been since March.

Day-to-day operations of the ability stay within the fingers of Ukrainian employees, whereas employees from Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear operator, are also on website.

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