Three explosions at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya

Three explosions at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya



full screenThe nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya. Photo: Libkos / AP

Three explosions occurred at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya this weekend.

Ukraine and Russia blame each other.

– A serious incident, says IAEA director Rafael Grossi.

The nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya is Europe’s largest and has been under Russian control since the beginning of the war. On the night of March 4, 2022, the facility was subjected to heavy Russian shelling and dramatic images showed how a fire broke out in a building near the reactors.

Several times since then, buildings in the area have been damaged in attacks and Russia and Ukraine have traded accusations over who is to blame.

On Sunday, three explosions occurred after drone attacks at the nuclear power plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA says in a statement. According to the organization, it is the first time since November 2022 that the facility has been subjected to direct shelling.

“They are a strong escalation. Such reckless attacks increase the risk of a major nuclear incident and must stop immediately,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

According to the statement, inspectors on the ground were able to confirm three drone explosions in the area. One of them occurred directly adjacent to one of the six reactors and left superficial burns on its roof.

“Surveillance and communications equipment appears to have been the target. While the inspectors were on the roof of reactor six, Russian forces acted against what appeared to be an incoming drone. It was followed by an explosion near the reactor building,” says Rafael Grossi.

Another of the drones exploded outside a laboratory in the area. There, the inspectors saw bloodstains next to a destroyed military vehicle, according to the IAEA.

Rafael Grossi emphasizes that no critical damage occurred at the nuclear power plant, but calls the incident “a serious incident that had the potential to endanger the safety of the reactor.”

Russian forces blamed the attack on Ukraine, which in turn blamed Russia for firing the drones in a so-called false flag attack, writes The Guardian.


full screen A Russian soldier patrols the nuclear power plant. Archive image. Photo: AP