United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described the recent artillery and missile launches around the region Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant In central Ukraine as “suicidal tendencies”, raising fears of an accident at the plant, the largest of its kind in Europe.
“Any attack on nuclear power plants is suicidal,” Guterres told reporters on Monday in Tokyo. “I hope these attacks will end,” he said, calling on the International Atomic Energy Agency to allow them to enter the plant.
The Zaporizhzhia plant occupies a large site on the Dnipro River. It has continued to operate at reduced capacity since it was captured by Russian forces in early March, with Ukrainian technicians still operating.
Ukraine’s state energy company, Energoatom, said on Sunday that one worker was wounded in Russian shelling around the facility on Saturday.
Energoatom claimed that three radiation-monitoring sensors were also damaged, saying that “timely detection and response in the event of a radiological exacerbation or radiation leakage from spent nuclear fuel drums is currently impossible”.
“This time a nuclear catastrophe was miraculously averted, but the miracles cannot last forever,” the company added.
Speaking to Ukrainian television, Energoatom’s chairman, Petro Kotin, said one of the strikes on Sunday was 20 meters from the treated fuel storage area.
“If they hit the containers with treated fuel, it would be a radiation accident,” he said.
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