All safety systems of the six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) have not been affected, nor has any radioactive material been released, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Director General Rafael Grossi confirmed that a projectile hit a building within the plant site, which was not part of any reactor.
He also confirmed that two security personnel from the plant were injured.
According to Grossi, the radiation monitoring systems are fully functional although he said: 'the operator and the regulator have been telling us that the situation naturally continues to be extremely tense and challenging because of the circumstances.'
'There is only one reactor unit that is operating at around 60% of its capacity. Unit 1 was in an outage for maintenance. Unit 2 and 3 are in a safety-controlled shutdown. Unit 4 is the one that is still operating at 60% and units 5 and 6 were already being held in reserve and they are operating normally in low power mode,' Grossi said.
- Fire at Zaporizhzhia NPP
Earlier on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that attacks by Russian troops on the Zaporizhzhia NPP must be stopped because if an explosion occurred, 'it would be the end of Europe.'
'Europe must wake up now. Europe's largest nuclear power plant is on fire. Currently, Russian tanks are hitting nuclear units. These are tanks equipped with thermal imagers, so they know what they are shooting at. They have prepared for this,' the Ukrainian president had said via video message on social media.
Later on Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said 'the Russian army is firing from all sides on the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. A fire has already broken out.”
The IAEA announced that the fire at the power plant had not affected essential equipment.
Following the night-long clashes with Ukrainian forces, the plant is now under the control of Russian forces.
- Plant is among world's 10 largest NPPs
The Zaporizhzhia NPP, which was built between 1984 and 1995, is the largest in Europe and also among the world's 10 largest plants.
Located in southeastern Ukraine near the city of Enerhodar, the Zaporizhzhia NPP generates 20% of Ukraine's electricity.
Its six reactors, each with a net capacity of 950 megawatts, can supply energy to nearly 4 million households with a total electricity production of 5,700 megawatts.
By Firdevs Yuksel