Russia has accused Ukraine of risking a nuclear catastrophe and claimed that its forces have shot down nine Ukrainian drones near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The Zaporizhzhia plant, which has been under Russian control since the beginning of March 2022, features six Soviet-made VVER-1000 V-320 pressurized water reactors moderated and cooled by water, using uranium-235 as fuel. Four reactors are reportedly shut down, while two are said to be operating in a “hot shutdown” mode, according to the Russian power plant operator.
“The Kyiv regime continues to provoke, seeking to create a threat of a disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and disrupt the rotation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel,” stated the Russian Ministry of Defense. Ukraine has not yet commented on these claims, which cannot be independently verified. The ministry also claimed that Russian air defense forces shot down nine Ukrainian drones near the city of Enerhodar, which is under Russian control. The IAEA has repeatedly stated that the world has been fortunate that there has been no nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, where nuclear safety is said to be particularly fragile.
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