Russian forces take control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Ukraine has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that Russian forces had taken control of the site of the country’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, a statement said.

Director General Rafael Mario Grossi added that the nuclear power plant continued to be operated by its regular staff and there had been no release of radioactive material.

Ukrainian officials also informed the IAEA that a projectile overnight had hit a training building in the vicinity of one of the plant’s reactor units, causing a localized fire that was later extinguished.

The safety systems of the plant’s six reactors had not been affected and there has been no release of radioactive material.

Radiation monitoring systems at the site are fully functional.

However, the operator has reported that the situation remains very challenging and therefore it has not yet been possible to access the whole site to assess that all safety systems are fully functional.

Of the plant’s reactor units, Unit 1 is shut down for maintenance, Units 2 and 3 have undergone a controlled shut down, Unit 4 is operating at 60 percent power and Units 5 and 6 are being held “in reserve” in low power mode.

Two people were reported injured.

The IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) has been put in full response mode due to the events at Zaporizhzhia NPP, Director General Grossi said. The IEC will be manned around the clock to continuously receive, assess and disseminate information about developments.

“I’m extremely concerned about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and what happened there during the night. Firing shells in the area of a nuclear power plant violates the fundamental principle that the physical integrity of nuclear facilities must be maintained and kept safe at all time,” Director General Grossi said.