Background levels at the southern facility are normal, local officials say
According to Vladimir Rogov, a member of the region’s military-civilian administration, the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant suffered no critical damage as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces this week.
In terms of nuclear safety, everything is in order near the plant and background radiation levels are normal, Rogov said Friday in an interview with the Rossiya-24 news channel.
“The operation of the reactors was not disturbed by the bombardments”, he explained. However, the official noted that the attack destroyed part of a building belonging to the rescue services in the area and one of the shells fell just ten meters from a radioactive waste storage site.
Rogov claimed that the specific division of the Ukrainian armed forces responsible for the attack had been identified and suggested that it had used ammunition supplied by the West.
“They were terrorists from the 44th Artillery Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, militants from Zelensky. They fired from Nikopol with 152-millimeter guns, intending to hit the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” Rogov said.
His assessment of those responsible for the attack was corroborated by the Russian Defense Ministry, which issued a statement on Thursday saying that the attack carried out by the 44th artillery brigade in kyiv partially damaged a thermal power plant and equipment used. to cool the nuclear reactor. reactors.
“Only thanks to the skillful, competent and efficient actions of the units of the Russian Armed Forces to cover the nuclear power plant, the critical infrastructure of the nuclear power plant was not damaged and the operation of the reactors did not suffer. been disturbed”, added the ministry.
The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, considered the largest of its kind in Europe, was seized by Russian forces in late February when Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring country. The facility continues to operate with Ukrainian personnel under Russian control.
According to the Russian military, Ukrainian forces have repeatedly fired artillery and rockets at the plant since late July and allegedly used drones to strike the facility. Moscow described kyiv’s actions as “nuclear terrorism”.
kyiv in turn claimed Russia was the one targeting the plant in an alleged plot to discredit Ukraine and insisted that Moscow was using the facility as a military base, keeping troops and heavy weapons there. .
In response, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, insisted that “basic logic” suggests that Moscow has no reason to target the facility or its own troops controlling it.
Addressing a UN Security Council briefing on Thursday, the diplomat said that “Strikes were launched from heavy artillery and MLRS located on the right bank of the Dnieper”, Ukrainian-held territory in the Dnepropetrovsk region. He added that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were aiming “protected concrete storage facilities for radioactive waste”. If a nuclear disaster occurs as a result of the bombing, all responsibility will lie with “Western sponsors of the kyiv regime”, said Nebenzia.
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, told the UN Security Council on Thursday that the situation at the plant was under control and that there was “no immediate danger” to his safety. At the same time, he called the reports his agency had received from Russia and Ukraine “contradictory” and urged both parties to allow the IAEA access to the facility “as soon as possible.”
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