Russian strikes forced nuclear reactor closure, operator Energoatom says

Energoatom, the operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine says parts of the facility were "seriously damaged" by Russian military strikes, forcing the closure of one reactor, the BBC reports. There was still a risk of radioactive leaks, Energoatom warned.

Moscow said Ukraine carried out the attack, but the EU has condemned Russia's actions at the plant.

Russia seized the Zaporizhzhia plant,the biggest in Europe, in March but kept its Ukrainian employees on the site. Ukraine accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing "terror tactics".

Friday's strikes "caused a serious risk for the safe operation of the plant", Energoatom wrote on Telegram, adding that a power cable had been damaged, forcing one of the reactors to stop working. The BBC was unable to verify the reported damage at the nuclear plant.

Meanwhile, the EU has hit out at Moscow over the latest shelling with the bloc's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, saying it "condemns Russia's military activities" around the plant.

"This is a serious and irresponsible breach of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia's disregard for international norms," he said, and called for the UN's nuclear watchdog - the IAEA - to be granted access to the plant.

The head of the IAEA this week said the plant was "completely out of control".

Image: By Федя Кузнецов - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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