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Russia playing “dangerous game”: US calls on Moscow to withdraw military from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Tue, 09 Apr 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Washington, DC [US], April 9 (ANI): The United States has called on Russia to withdraw its military and civilian personnel from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and return its full control to Ukraine.
In a regular US State Department briefing on Monday (local time), spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the US is aware of the reports of a ‘drone attack’ on the power plant, and is monitoring the conditions there.
“We are aware of the reports of a drone attack on the Zaporizhzhia power plant. We are monitoring the conditions at the plant, including through official reporting from the IAEA, which fortunately knows that the damage resulting from the drone strike has not compromised nuclear safety,” Miller said.
The State Department spokesperson further said, “Russia is playing a very dangerous game with its military seizure of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe.”
“It’s dangerous that they have done that,” Miller asserted.
“We continue to call on Russia to withdraw its military and civilian personnel from the plant, return full control of the plant to the competent Ukrainian authorities and refrain from taking any actions that could result in a nuclear incident at the plant,” he added.
The dome above a shutdown reactor at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear station was struck by Ukraine on Sunday, the plant’s Russian-installed administration said, according to Al Jazeera.
It was not immediately clear what weapon was used in the strike then.
The Russian state-owned nuclear agency Rosatom, however, said that it was a drone attack at the nuclear plant, which was taken over by Russian forces shortly after their full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
However, Rosatom later reported that three individuals had been hurt, particularly as a result of a drone hit close to the canteen on the site.
According to plant officials, radiation levels were normal and there was no significant damage following the attack.
The largest nuclear power station in Europe, Zaporizhzhia nuclear station comprises six uranium-235 water-cooled and water-moderated VVER-1000 V-320 reactors designed by the Soviet Union. The facility also houses spent nuclear fuel.
According to the plant’s administration, reactors number one, two, five, and six are in cold shutdown, reactor number three is shut down for maintenance, and reactor number four is in what is known as “hot shutdown,” reported Al Jazeera.
The facility is still near the front lines, and Russia and Ukraine have both frequently charged one another with assaulting it and so raising the possibility of a nuclear accident. (ANI)



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