The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday that the nuclear research facility in Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv was reportedly damaged after heavy artillery shelling, but there was no “radiological consequence.”
The Vienna-based UN body said Ukrainian authorities reported an attack on Sunday, but no increase in radiation levels had been reported at the site.
The IAEA said that because the site’s “inventory of radioactive material is very low” and kept at a “subcritical” state, “the damage reported to it would not have had any radiological consequence.”
The facility was part of the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, a research institute that produced radioactive material for medical and industrial applications.
The IAEA said this was just the latest instance of a nuclear facility becoming caught up in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“We have already had several episodes compromising safety at Ukraine’s nuclear sites,” said IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi.
There have also been reports of damage to radioactive waste disposal facilities near Kyiv and Kharkiv, and Russian forces hit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
The IAEA said the Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, was now under the control of Russian forces, blocking the delivery of spare parts and medicine.
Reports also claimed that communications were cut at the small nuclear facilities in the southern city of Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian forces, leaving residents without electricity or running water.
The IAEA has urged Moscow and Kyiv to agree on a plan to safeguard nuclear facilities.
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