Fire Breaks Out at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine After Russian Shelling

Fire breaks out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukrainian city of Enerhodar after shelling from Russian troops, according to Ukrainian officials.

“A threat to world security! As a result of relentless shelling by the enemy of the buildings and blocks of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire!” Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov said on Facebook.

Orlov said that firefighters cannot reach the location of the fire at the plant.

Orlov added that there were victims “but the exact number and condition so far cannot be determined under the circumstances.”

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Ukrainian nuclear regulator said that no change has been reported in the radiation levels of the plant.

Ukraine further reported to IAEA that the fire has not affected “essential” equipment.

Despite no elevated radiation readings, the IAEA placed its Incident and Emergency Center in “full 24/7 response mode due to serious situation” at the plant.

The United States Energy Department earlier activated its Nuclear Incident Response Team.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that they are also monitoring situation with the Defense Department, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the White House.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba earlier said on Twitter warned that if the plant blows up, it will be “10 times larger than Chernobyl” as Russian troops were firing “from all sides” upon the plant.

“Russia must immediately cease the fire, allow firefighters, [and] establish a security zone!” Kuleba said.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi “appeals for halt of use of force and warns of severe danger if reactors hit,” IAEA earlier said.

The plant accounts for about one-quarter of Ukraine’s power generation, according to The Kyiv Independent.

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