UN boss condemns Russia’s bombing of Ukraine nuclear plant

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The recent Russia’s artillery and rocket fire around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in central Ukraine has been condemned by the Secretary -General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.

The UN boss described the Russians action as “suicidal,” further adding to fears of an accident at the plant, which is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Speaking to journalists in Tokyo on Monday, Guterres said, “the attack on nuclear power plants is a suicidal thing. I hope that these attacks will end.”

He called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be given access to the plant.

The Zaporizhzhia plant occupies an extensive site on the Dnipro river. It has continued operating at reduced capacity since Russian forces captured it early in March, with Ukrainian technicians remaining at work.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s state energy company Energoatom said that one worker had been injured by Russian shelling around the facility on Saturday.

Energoatom claimed that three radiation monitoring sensors were also damaged, saying “timely detection and response in case of aggravation of the radiation situation or leakage of radiation from spent nuclear fuel casks are currently impossible.”

“This time a nuclear catastrophe was miraculously avoided, but miracles cannot last forever,” the company added.

Speaking on Ukrainian television, Energoatom’s chairman Petro Kotin said one strike Sunday was up to 20 meters away from the processed fuel storage area.

“If they had hit the containers with the processed fuel, it would be a radiation accident,” he said.

Kotin suggested that if one container was hit “it will be a local accident on the territory of the plant and nearby territory. If it’s two (or) three containers — the affected area will increase.”

Kotin also said that during the shelling, communication lines between the nuclear plant, the hydroelectric power plant and the Ukrainian energy system had been ruptured.

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