Nuclear expert: Russia seizes Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to supply electricity to occupied territories

Zaporozhye / Photo: EPA-EFE / SERGEI ILNITSKY

Tariq Rauf, a nuclear expert, says Moscow may have seized the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, to supply electricity to the Ukrainian region it recently occupied.

"Fifteen power plants in Ukraine today together provide 50 percent of the electricity needed by Ukraine. "Russia occupied and took possession of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, in my opinion, to supply electricity to the eastern parts of Ukraine that Russia occupied during this war," Rauf told Al Jazeera.

He adds that for the time being it is not known with certainty what the situation is in the nuclear power plant. Why are the Ukrainians shelling it when they have their own people there, but why would the Russians at the same time shell there when they have their own soldiers and technical experts?

In the meantime International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) he is still waiting to receive permission to send a technical team and find out what the facts are on the ground," he says.

"The structures of these power plants are built to withstand a certain amount of direct damage. Thus, the degree of damage depends on the type of attack. I think it is unlikely that an artillery shell would reach the inner part of the reactor. But again, these are things we don't need to test. We have to make sure that never happens," added Rauf.

Ukrainian State Nuclear Energy Company "Energoatom" announced today that one worker was wounded during Russian shelling of the plant.

The place of dry storage with spent nuclear fuel in the power plant, there are 174 containers with nuclear waste that were hit by rockets these days, Energoatom announced via the Telegram social network. The Zaporizhia nuclear plant was occupied by Russian forces in the early stages of the war, but is still run by Ukrainian technicians. Allegedly, technicians from the Russian Rosatom also lived there for a period, but they recently moved out.

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