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Russia Accuses Ukraine of Attacking Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Kyiv Denies It

Russia has reported that the Ukrainian forces struck the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant again, days after another report of a strike on the facility. The Ukrainian side denied the allegation.

"The unique training center of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was attacked," the management of the nuclear facility, which is controlled by Russia, said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

The attack was carried out with a drone, like the previous attacks on the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and one of the ten largest in the world. A series of drone attacks on Sunday prompted a warning from the International Atomic Energy Agency that the plant’s nuclear safety may be endangered.

"This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately," the IAEA’s head, Rafael Grossi said.

"It is dangerous, dangerous for the station, dangerous for the surrounding territory, and potentially dangerous for all of humanity," the director in charge of the Zaporizhzhia plant told Reuters. "No nuclear reactor was made to be in the center of fighting," headed.

The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly denied they were the ones attacking the nuclear power plant.

"Ukraine's position is clear and unequivocal– we do not commit any military actions or provocations on nuclear facilities," the spokesman of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said on Ukrainian TV.

The Zaporizhzhia power plant was built during Soviet times and attacks on it tend to raise fears of a repeat of the Chernobyl disaster even though that was not a result of any military action on the territory of the facility.

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Nuclear expert and advocate Mark Nelson has noted, amid recent reports, that the reactors of the power plant are encased in meter-thick domes made from concrete and steel, which makes them hard to damage by a drone.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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