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14 Mar, 2024 10:17

Ukraine bombs Russian nuclear power plant periphery

The blast occurred near tanks containing diesel for backup generators at the Zaporozhye facility, according to management

Ukrainian forces have dropped a bomb near diesel tanks located at Russia’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, management at the facility reported on Thursday.

In a video published on social media, plant director Yury Chernuk pointed to a crater in the ground, which he said had been created by an explosive device dropped from a Ukrainian drone.

The bomb itself was composed of explosives wrapped in foil, according to reports, but the location was significant. The crater was just five meters away from the perimeter fence, and tanks storing diesel fuel could be seen in the footage.

The plant has backup diesel generators, which kick in when electricity supply from the power grid is cut off. Its equipment needs to be powered continuously to ensure safe operation, even when nuclear reactors are not online. Blackouts have been a regular occurrence for the site since the beginning of the conflict.

”Destruction of those tanks or a fuel leak may not only cause a fire, but also result in significant loss of diesel reserves. Consequently, the plant’s preparedness for emergencies would be reduced by orders of magnitude,” Chernuk explained.

Another person, who was not identified, suggested that the bombing incident had been part of Ukraine’s intimidation tactics. Kiev considers the plant to be occupied by the Russian military.

The director of the facility noted that Ukrainian forces had targeted the plant days after the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, rotated observers stationed there. The organization told Russian media that it was aware of the incident, but offered no further comment.

Following the incident, the situation was reportedly calm in Energodar, the city where the Zaporozhye power plant is located.