Ukraine accuses Russia of ‘nuclear terrorism’ after attack near power plant
Photo: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images
A Russian missile exploded near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Monday, damaging nearby industrial equipment but missing its three reactors.. Ukrainian authorities denounced the move as an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
The missile struck 300 meters from the reactors of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk in Mykolaiv province.leaving a hole 6 1/2 feet deep and 13 feet wide, according to Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom.
The reactors were operating normally and no employees were injured, he said. But the proximity of the attack renewed fears that Russia’s nearly seven-month war in Ukraine could produce a radiation disaster.
This nuclear power plant is the second largest in Ukraine after the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which has been repeatedly attacked.
Following recent setbacks on the battlefield, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin threatened last week to intensify Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. Throughout the war, Russia has attacked Ukraine’s electricity generation and transmission equipment, causing blackouts and compromising the safety systems of the country’s nuclear power plants.
The industrial complex that includes the southern Ukraine plant is located along the Southern Bug River, about 190 miles south of the capital, Kyiv. The attack caused the temporary closure of a nearby hydroelectric plant and shattered more than 100 windows in the complex, Ukrainian authorities said. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said three power lines were left offline but were later reconnected.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense released a black and white video showing two large fireballs exploding one after another in the dark., followed by an incandescent shower of sparks, 19 minutes after midnight. The ministry and Energoatom called the attack “nuclear terrorism.”
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