NewsDrones Strike Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Tensions Escalate in Ukraine

Drones Strike Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Tensions Escalate in Ukraine

The power plant in Zaporizhzhia attacked
The power plant in Zaporizhzhia attacked
Images source: © Licensor | IAEA Imagebank

8:11 PM EDT, April 8, 2024

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, currently under Russian control, was targeted by Ukrainian military drones on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. The assault resulted in an explosion close to the plant's dome. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi has called for compliance with safety principles despite the absence of critical damage and casualties.

Officials from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, overseen by Russia, notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the drone attack on the facility. Russian-appointed authorities reported that the attack included a hit on the dome of the sixth reactor. IAEA observers also noted an explosion within the plant's vicinity.

Although there were no initial reports of critical damage, casualties, or abnormal radiation levels following the attack, Russia's nuclear agency, Rosatom, later disclosed that three individuals were wounded in what it described as an "unprecedented series of drone attacks," including one strike near the plant's cafeteria.

While Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA's lead, did not blame the attack, he highlighted the security risks such incidents pose.

I urge all parties to avoid actions that breach the five principles of the IAEA and compromise nuclear safety, Grossi stated on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter).

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant amid conflict

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and its subsequent seizure of the plant, Europe's largest nuclear power facility has found itself at the epicenter of armed conflict. The IAEA has voiced repeated concerns over the precarious situation at the plant, apprehensive about a potential nuclear catastrophe. Ukraine and Russia have consistently blamed each other for launching attacks on the site, which remains near the ongoing frontline.

Although the plant's six reactors have been inactive for several months, electricity and proficient staff are still required to manage essential cooling systems and other critical safety operations.

Escalation in the Zaporizhzhia region

Irrespective of the plant-related incident, escalated conflict persists in the Zaporizhzhia region. Zaporizhzhia's governor, Ivan Fedorov, reported on Sunday that three individuals perished following a Russian missile strike on a residential building in the frontline city of Huliaipole. Later that day, two more individuals were wounded in Huliaipole's bombardment.

In Ukraine's northeast, within the Kharkiv region, Governor Oleh Syniehubov disclosed that three individuals sustained injuries from Russian artillery fire.

Near the Ukrainian border, in the Russian Belgorod region, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported the tragic death of a young girl and four others injured when debris from a downed Ukrainian drone collided with a car carrying a family of six.

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