Fire at Ukraine nuclear power plant caused by Russia put out

The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 remains the deadliest nuclear accident in the world.


A fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex in southeastern Ukraine has been extinguished, Ukrainian authorities said.

The fire broke out early Friday during heavy shelling of the area by Russian forces and it was feared that a nuclear disaster occurred.

Ukrainian authorities said around 2:30 am local time on Friday that a fire had broken out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located in Enerhodar in southeastern Ukraine.

The plant is the largest of its kind in Ukraine and contains six of the country's 15 nuclear power reactors, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Since then, fighting has ceased in the area, according to a plant spokesperson.

Nuclear regulators and government agencies in Ukraine and the United States say radiation levels appear normal.

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said the fire in the plant's training building was extinguished at 6:20 a.m. No deaths or injuries were reported, according to the statement.

The worst case scenario would be if a fire or attack reached the reactors, disrupted their cooling system and caused a meltdown, releasing large amounts of radioactivity.

However, Graham Allison, a professor at Harvard University's Belfer Center, told CNN early Friday that "not every power plant fire has catastrophic consequences."

In a Facebook post early Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of intentionally shooting at the nuclear plant and urged European leaders to "wake up now" and stop Russian forces "before this turns into a nuclear disaster."

Zelensky called on Europe for help after the attack on the Ukraine nuclear plant.

The President of Ukraine accused Russia of intentionally shooting at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant: “Russian tanks are shooting at atomic blocks equipped with thermal imaging cameras. They know what they are shooting at. They have been preparing for this (attack),” he said in the post.

Zelensky said that the very fact that Russia launched an attack on the plant is in itself an extremely dangerous act and could cause a potential catastrophe, said. “There are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine. If one of them explodes, it's the end of all of them, it's the end of Europe,” he added.

“No country besides Russia has ever fired on the reactors of an atomic power plant. The first time, the first time in history," Zelensky said.

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