The Ukrainian military fired several rockets directly at the cooling systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, local government official Vladimir Rogov told Russian media on Tuesday. . He warned that a successful strike could result in a release of radiation equivalent to a “dirty bomb”.
“One of the guided missiles barely hit ten meters” barrels of spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live. “Others hit a little further, 50 to 200 yards.”
Since the storage site is in the open, any impact will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from tens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area, the official explained. “In short, it would be like a dirty bomb”, Rogov said.
While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the cooling systems and waste storage are much more vulnerable and damage could easily cause a disaster, the official said. Ukrainian troops have already fired “a few dozen” heavy projectiles on cooling systems, Rogov added. If they succeed in disabling such a system, it could produce a bigger meltdown than the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.
EU ‘blatantly lies’ about threat to Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – Moscow
Russian troops took control of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest such facility in Europe, at the start of military operations in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of bombing the facility, warning that fighting in the region could trigger a nuclear disaster. Russia has accused Ukraine of launching artillery and drone strikes on the facility, denouncing the operations as “nuclear terrorism”. Ukrainian troops claimed the Russians were bombing each other to discredit kyiv.
Russian requests for the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site first-hand have been met with excuses that inspectors can only access the station via Kyiv, and Ukraine cannot guarantee their safe passage.
On Monday, Rogov accused the UN of blocking the IAEA visit because it was covering Kyiv. If the inspectors actually showed up, he said, they would be forced to conclude that Ukraine and not Russia was bombing the power plant.
“It’s obvious, everything has been documented, and not only that, we also know who is supplied with American guided missiles. Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime,” he said.
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