Kyiv accuses Russia of strike on southern nuclear plant

Monday September 19 2022

This handout photo taken on September 1, 2022 and obtained from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on September 7, 2022 shows the IAEA team observing the damage caused by shelling on the roof of the special building at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant that houses the fresh nuclear fuel and the solid radioactive waste storage facility, in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine. PHOTO | FREDRIK DAHL | INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) | AFP


Ukraine's nuclear energy agency Energoatom on Monday accused Moscow's troops of an attack on the country's second largest nuclear plant in the south.

The accusations come after the Moscow-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine -- Europe's largest atomic facility -- faced frequent shelling in recent months, raising fears of a nuclear incident. 

On Monday, "the Russian army carried out a missile attack on the industrial site" of the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant, Energoatom said in a post on the Telegram messaging service. 

It added that a "powerful explosion" took place "just 300 metres" (985 feet) from the facility's reactors but they were operating as "normal". 

The strike damaged more than a hundred windows of the power station's building, the nuclear agency said, posting photos of glass shattered around the broken windows.

The agency also released photographs of what it said was a two-metre-deep crater from where the missile landed.


"Fortunately, no one among the power plant staff was hurt," Energoatom said. 

"Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it's too late" Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram, reacting to the strike.