Russia building giant dome over Europe’s largest nuclear plant – official
Russia is constructing a protective dome over spent radioactive fuel stores at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as Ukrainian forces continue to target the facility, senior regional official Vladimir Rogov has said.
He took to Telegram on Saturday to post a short video of the work that’s taking place. It showed technicians setting up shields over the tanks that hold spent nuclear fuel.
The dome is designed to protect the storage facilities from shrapnel and improvised explosive devices carried by drones, the official explained, adding that it would be reinforced further at a later period.
Russia’s nuclear energy corporation Rosatom had earlier warned that damage to the spent-fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences.
The construction of the dome comes amid continued attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and the nearby town of Energodar, which Moscow blames on Kiev. Russia has repeatedly said that such strikes could result in a nuclear disaster that would eclipse the 1986 Chernobyl incident and affect many countries in Europe.
Ukraine initially claimed that the Russian military had been hitting the plant itself as part of “false-flag” operations to make Kiev look bad. However, Ukrainian general staff eventually admitted to striking the area around the nuclear facility.
The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is the largest on the continent, has been under Russian control since February 28. All of the reactors at the facility are currently shut down due to the security situation.
Zaporozhye Region, together with three other former Ukrainian territories – Kherson Region and the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugnask – joined Russia in autumn after holding referendums.