Kyiv March 4 2022: Several people have been killed or injured in the fire that broke out from Russian shelling of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry says.
Employees are monitoring the Zaporizhzhia plant to make sure it’s operating safely and radiation levels are currently normal, the ministry says in a statement on Facebook.
But if the process for cooling the nuclear fuel inside the power units is disturbed, there could be widescale radioactive damage.
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“Thousands of people – including civilians who are currently unable to evacuate the area near the plant due to ongoing shelling and fighting – would be hurt by this,” the statement says.
In line with the reaction from the Ukrainian president, the ministry says a nuclear disaster at Zaporizhzhia could be worse than previous accidents at nuclear plants – such as at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
“Russia has consciously undertaken an armed attack on the nuclear power site, an action that violated all international agreements within the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency],” the statement adds.
The ministry urges the international community to help force Russian troops out of the area, to ensure its safety.