Ukraine-Russia Conflict: Impact of Drone Strike on Zaporizhzhia Plant

A recent drone attack targeting Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant has heightened concerns about the risk of a “major nuclear accident,” warned the UN’s atomic watchdog.

Russia has accused Ukraine of orchestrating the attack, claiming it injured three individuals. However, Ukraine has denied any involvement in the incident.

Situated on the front lines of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Zaporizhzhia power plant, under Russian control, houses six reactors. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has consistently cautioned against such attacks.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi described Sunday’s drone strike as “reckless” and noted that it represents a significant escalation of nuclear safety and security risks facing the plant.

Located in southern Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia facility is the largest nuclear plant in Europe. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Russian forces seized control of the plant and have maintained occupation since then.

Although the plant ceased power generation in 2022, it still requires a steady supply of electricity to cool one of its reactors, which is currently in a state of “hot conservation,” meaning it is not entirely offline.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has deployed a team of experts at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, confirmed the occurrence of “physical impact from drone attacks” at the facility, including at one of its reactors.

The plant’s administration, installed by Russia, reported that radiation levels remained normal and indicated that no significant damage had occurred.

The IAEA emphasized that while the damage had not compromised nuclear safety, the incident remains serious and has the potential to undermine the integrity of the reactor’s containment system.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi highlighted that the plant experienced “at least three direct hits” on its main reactor containment structures. He emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “This cannot happen. No one can conceivably benefit or gain any military or political advantage from attacks on nuclear facilities. This is unacceptable.”

Both Russia and Ukraine have consistently accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant and risking a catastrophic nuclear accident.

The Russian administration of the Zaporizhzhia power plant has attributed the recent drone attack to Ukraine’s armed forces, although Ukraine has refuted this claim.

“Ukraine was not involved in any armed provocations on the site,” stated Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate spokesman Andriy Yusov in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda. He emphasized that the plant is “illegally occupied by Russia.”

Mr. Yusov accused Russia of putting the nuclear facility, the civilian population, and the environment at risk by conducting strikes on the plant itself.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that its team of experts at the plant had heard explosions every day for a week.

At that time, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi expressed deep concern, stating, “For more than two years now, nuclear safety and security in Ukraine has been constantly jeopardized. We remain committed to doing everything we can to help minimize the risk of a nuclear accident that could harm people and the environment, not only in Ukraine.”

Kindly share this story:
Kindly share this story:
Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on facebook
Top News

Related Articles