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HomeWorld NewsUkraine’s Zelensky claims 'world narrowly avoided radiation accident '

Ukraine’s Zelensky claims ‘world narrowly avoided radiation accident ‘

Today, the world inhaled sharply as Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s words again went against Russian claims. 

On Thursday, for the first time in history, Ukraine’s nuclear Zaporizhzhia plant got cut from the national grid. President Zelensky blamed the damage on Russian shelling, which Moscow has since countered, denying responsibility.

Satellite images taken on Wednesday showed a forest fire near the nuclear complex. While the fires reached the Plant on Thursday, they interfered with power lines, resulting in the Plant temporarily falling off the grid.

Zelensky claimed that on Thursday, Russian shelling caused fires to break out in the coal power plant’s ash dumps, cutting off the electricity to the reactor complex, the biggest of its kind in Europe. He said that the backup generator kicking in ensured a power supply vital for the Plant’s cooling and safety systems. 

As Zelensky finished praising the Ukrainian technicians who operate the Plant in his nightly address, he came after Moscow condemning the nation by saying, “Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans in a situation one step away from a radiation disaster.”

Conversely, a Russian-appointed official named Vladimir Rogov blamed Ukraine’s armed forces for a fire in a forest near the Plant after conducting alleged military strikes, saying towns in the area lost power for several hours on Thursday.

Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said it had been the first complete disconnection in the Plant, which has become a hotspot in the six-month-old war. By Friday afternoon, Energoatom said the Plant had been reconnected to the electricity grid, with only one of its six reactors supplying power.

Although it has yet to be confirmed who’s to blame for taking the nuclear Plant off the grid, there is growing concern over fighting near the complex. Nuclear specialists have highlighted the possibility of harm to the Plant’s spent nuclear fuel pools or reactors, stating that a catastrophic meltdown could result from power outages required to cool the pools.

National Security Expert, Paul Bracken, said, “A failure at the Zaporizhzhia plant could “kill hundreds or thousands of people, and damage environmentally a far larger area reaching into Europe.”

The United Nations has requested access to the Plant and the demilitarization of the area. IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi stated on Thursday that IAEA representatives are “very, very close” to being able to travel to Zaporizhzhia.



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