Europe’s largest nuclear plant in Ukraine, currently occupied by Vladimir Putin’s forces, was rocked by several explosions over the weekend, prompting the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog to issue warnings.
What Happened: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after more than a dozen blasts shook Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, said such attacks risked a significant disaster.
“Whoever is shelling at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, is taking huge risks and gambling with many people's lives,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
“I’m not giving up until this zone has become a reality. As the ongoing apparent shelling demonstrates, it is needed more than ever.”
The IAEA said a dozen blasts were heard within a short period of time in the morning local time on Monday, and the team could also see some of the explosions from their windows.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has six reactors and produced 20-21% of Ukraine’s electricity needs before Russia invaded the country in February.
The repeated shelling at the nuclear plant has raised concerns of a nuclear disaster in the war-torn nation. Although the reactors are now shut, there is a risk that nuclear fuel could overheat if the power driving the cooling systems is cut – which has repeatedly happened due to the shelling.
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