KIEV, UKRAINE (AP) — The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has expressed growing concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, amid ongoing attacks in the region.
The factory is near the front lines of fighting, and Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that a 72-year-old woman was killed and three others injured when Russian forces fired more than 30 shells into the Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol, which borders the factory. said he was injured. .
“The general situation in the area near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is becoming increasingly unpredictable,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi said in a warning issued Saturday before the latest attack report. It is becoming potentially dangerous,” he said.
“We are very concerned that the nuclear safety and security risks facing nuclear power plants are very real.”
Grossi’s comments follow Russian-incumbent Zaporizhia governor Yevgeny Balitsky, who announced on Friday that he had ordered the evacuation of civilians from 18 settlements in the region, including Enerhodar, which is next to power. prompted by the announcement that Largest factory in Europe.
The affected settlements are about 50 to 70 kilometers (30 to 40 miles) from the front lines of fighting between Ukraine and Russia, and Balitsky says Ukraine has intensified attacks on the area over the past few days. said.
The region is also widely seen as an area where Ukraine is likely to be the focus of the expected spring counterattack.
The Ukrainian General Staff said on Sunday that the evacuation of Enerkhodar had already begun.
According to an update posted on Facebook, the General Staff said the first residents to be evacuated were those who acquired Russian citizenship after Moscow occupied the town early in the war.
They were taken to the Russian-occupied coast of the Sea of Azov, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) to the southeast.
Grossi said the operational staff at the nuclear power plant, which now has all six reactors in shutdown mode, had not been evacuated as of Saturday, but most of them live in Enerhoder, adding that the situation was “increasingly tense.” and contributes to a stressful and difficult situation.” staff and their families. ”
He added that IAEA experts at the nuclear site “continue to hear shelling on a regular basis.”
“We must act now to prevent the threat of a serious nuclear accident and its attendant consequences for population and the environment,” Grossi said. “This major nuclear facility must be protected.
Elsewhere, Russian shelling on Saturday and overnight killed six civilians and wounded four in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, according to a Telegram update released by the local administration on Sunday.
Five civilians were wounded in the eastern Donetsk region, the epicenter of fighting in recent months, regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko reported Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces used drones to attack the largest port in Russia-occupied Crimea overnight, a Kremlin-based local official told Telegram early Sunday morning.
A post by Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said 10 Ukrainian drones targeted the city, three of which were shot down by air defense systems.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.
https://wgnradio.com/news/business-news/nuclear-watchdog-growingly-worried-over-ukraine-plant-safety/ Nuclear watchdog WGN Radio 720 concerned about the safety of Ukrainian nuclear power plants