Fire extinguished at key Ukrainian nuclear plant
Firefighters have successfully extinguished a massive fire at the six-reactor Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant in Energodar, southwestern Ukraine, local emergency services announced early on Friday.
“At 6:20 [local time], the fire in the training facility of Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant in Energodar was extinguished. There are no victims and casualties,” reported the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on their official Facebook page.
It was earlier reported that the massive fire had been localized in an area of 2,000 square meters.
The fire at Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant broke out Thursday night at the training facility situated next to the station.
It was originally reported by Energodar’s mayor that the fire had been caused by Russian shelling. It was also reported that the blaze had engulfed the power plant itself, but the emergency services dismissed these claims.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement on Friday morning, expressing concern about the incident, which could become “a second Chernobyl or even worse.”
“We’ve contacted leaders, our partners. I talked to Charles Michel, Olaf Scholz, I talked to [Andrzej] Duda, talked to President Biden. We contacted IAEA’s Grossi, and also Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson. We are warning everyone,” he said in his video address.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said no “essential equipment” had been damaged at the plant, with no change in radiation levels reported.
Zaporozhskaya is one of the biggest nuclear plants in Europe. It was reported earlier this week that the facility had been captured by Russian forces, and that staff were continuing to work as normal, while monitoring radiation levels.
Last week, Moscow took control of the defunct Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and released a short video of a Russian and a Ukrainian soldier in combat uniform watching surveillance cameras and motion detectors in the area.
Russia ordered its troops into Ukraine last week, describing the invasion as aimed at “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” the government in Kiev and stopping what it called the “genocide” in the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Ukraine has accused Moscow of an unprovoked offensive, with the US and NATO allies following suit.