Issued on:

Shellfire at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine fuelled fears of disaster as both sides traded blame for shelling the grounds of the plant. Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said it was assessing damage to the plant and that its staff were under pressure by the Russian occupiers ahead of a likely visit by the IAEA. Read our live blog to keep up with the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

Advertising

7:50am: Energoatom says it is assessing damage from new round of shelling at Zaporizhzhia

Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said on Saturday that Russian troops had again shelled the grounds of the complex. “The damage is currently being ascertained,” Energoatom wrote in a statement on Telegram.

Moscow’s defence ministry, for its part, on Saturday accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant complex three times in 24 hours. It said in a statement 17 shells were fired, with four hitting the roof of a building storing “168 assemblies of U.S. Westinghouse nuclear fuel”.

It said 10 shells exploded near a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and three near a building that houses fresh nuclear fuel storage. It said the radiation situation at the plant remained normal.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said on Thursday that his agency was “very, very close” to being able to send officials to inspect the plant.

Energoatom’s statement on Saturday said its staff at the plant had come under “increased pressure” ahead of the likely visit, “to hush up their testimonies about the crimes of the occupiers at the station and using it as a military base”.

france24