Damage to Europe's largest nuclear power plant revealed (VIDEO)
RT has visited the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine, seeing first-hand the aftermath of the shelling of the facility by Kiev's forces.
The largest nuclear power plant in Europe was seized by Russian troops in late February. Since then, National Guard and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Troops have been defending the facility as the plant continues to operate with local staff.
Kiev’s troops have been firing at the plant and the nearby city of Energodar from the opposite site of the large Kakhovka water reservoir, the Russian Defense Ministry has consistently claimed.
The falling shells damaged the facades of some buildings, while missile parts are still stuck in the ground. One of the water pumping stations was hit, but continues to operate as most of the equipment is hidden underground.
“This [impact] crater within the vicinity of the cleaning facilities was created last Saturday due to shelling by Ukrainian forces,” RT’s Alexey Repin reports. “Literally 150 meters from here in the plant’s fifth power unit, and it’s still working, just around the corner.”
“At the moment, the radiation at the station, as well as the surrounding areas, is within the norms. The shelling hit mostly auxiliary equipment, hydrogen, and oxygen facilities,” a member of the Russian nuclear defense troops told RT. “We’re trying to repair the damage as soon as possible, so that the nuclear plant will not have to halt its operations.”
Nevertheless, Moscow has repeatedly warned that the shelling could make the plant inoperable or cause a nuclear disaster similar to the one in Chernobyl in 1986. The shelling had already caused several fires and power outages at the plant this month, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Russian officials have urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send inspectors to the facility as soon as possible.
Ukrainian and US officials have accused Russia of shelling the plant and using it as cover for its soldiers.