Ukraine claims Russia planning ‘massive’ incident at nuclear site | Nuclear Energy News


Ukraine’s defence ministry has warned that Russia plans to simulate a significant accident on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which is beneath the management of Russian forces, in a bid to thwart the anticipated counteroffensive by Ukraine to retake its territory captured by Moscow.

The Zaporizhzhia plant, which lies in an space of Russian-occupied southern Ukraine, is Europe’s greatest nuclear energy station and the world has been repeatedly hit by shelling with either side blaming one another for the harmful assaults.

Forward of Ukraine’s anticipated counteroffensive, fears have elevated {that a} nuclear catastrophe might happen amid rising army exercise round Zaporizhzhia.

“Russians are getting ready large provocation and imitation of the accident on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant within the nearest hours,” the Ukrainian defence ministry’s intelligence directorate mentioned on Friday.

“They’re planning to assault the territory of the ZNPP [Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant]. After that, they may announce the leakage of the radioactive substances,” the intelligence directorate mentioned in an announcement and afterward social media channels.

Experiences of radioactive materials leaking from the plant would trigger a world incident and power an investigation by worldwide authorities, throughout which all hostilities can be stopped, the directorate mentioned. Russia would then use that pause in combating to regroup its forces and higher put together to cease the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the intelligence service mentioned.

“They clearly will blame Ukraine,” the directorate mentioned, including that the assault’s intention can be to “provoke the worldwide group” into investigating the incident and forcing a pause in combating.


Consultants say that stories of a radiation leak on the plant can be adopted by fast evacuations, which could possibly be extraordinarily complicated in a battle zone. In keeping with consultants, for many individuals, the concern of being contaminated by radiation may be extra harmful than the radiation itself.

Final week, witnesses mentioned Russian army forces had been enhancing defensive positions in and across the nuclear energy plant forward of Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive.

In preparation for the deliberate radioactive incident, Russia had disrupted the scheduled rotation of inspectors from the Worldwide Atomic Power Company (IAEA), who’re primarily based on the plant, Ukraine’s intelligence directorate mentioned.

The report of a deliberate incident at Zaporizhzhia was repeated in a tweet by Ukraine’s consultant to the United Nations in New York, Sergiy Kyslytsya, who mentioned the occasions might unfold “within the coming hours”.

The directorate assertion didn’t present any proof to help its claims and the Vienna-based IAEA, which continuously posts updates on the state of affairs on the energy plant, has made no point out of any disruption to its timetable.

Kyiv and Moscow have repeatedly accused one another of attacking the plant.

In February, Russia mentioned Ukraine was planning to stage a nuclear incident on its territory and pin the blame on Moscow.

Moscow has additionally repeatedly accused Kyiv of planning “false-flag” operations with non-conventional weapons, utilizing organic or radioactive supplies.

No such assaults have taken place to this point.

The IAEA’s Director Common Rafael Grossi will transient the UN Safety Council subsequent week on the safety state of affairs at Zaporizhzhia and his plan for safeguards on the web site. Grossi, who final visited the plant in March, has upped his efforts to succeed in an settlement with Ukraine and Russia to make sure the plant’s safety in the course of the combating.

In an announcement final week, Grossi mentioned: “It is extremely easy: don’t shoot on the plant and don’t use the plant as a army base”.

“It needs to be within the curiosity of everybody to agree on a set of ideas to guard the plant in the course of the battle,” he added.

Zaporizhzhia as soon as equipped roughly 20 p.c of Ukraine’s electrical energy and continued to operate within the early months of Russia’s invasion, regardless of frequent shelling, earlier than halting energy manufacturing solely in September.

None of Ukraine’s six Soviet-era reactors has since generated electrical energy however the Zaporizhzhia facility stays linked to the Ukrainian energy grid for its personal wants, notably to chill the plant’s nuclear reactors.

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