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‘Nuclear terrorism’: Russian missile strike near plant

Ukraine’s atomic energy operator claims a Russian missile has struck an industrial complex just 300m from a nuclear plant in the southern Mykolaiv region.

September 19, 2022
By KARL RITTER
19 September 2022

A Russian missile strike hit a facility close to a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine Monday, causing no damage to its reactors but damaging other industrial equipment in what the country’s atomic energy operator denounced as an act of “nuclear terrorism”.

Energoatom, which operates Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, said the strike hit an industrial complex that includes the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant in the southerm Mykolaiv region.

It said the missile struck just 300m from the plant, causing an explosion that broke more than 100 windows on buildings in the complex.

The attack also caused a nearby hydropower plant to shut down temporarily but did not affect the reactors of the nuclear plant, Energoatom said, calling the strike an act of “nuclear terrorism”.

The Russian Defense Ministry had no immediate comment on the attack.

The Pivdennoukrainsk plant, also known as the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, sits along the Southern Bug River about 300km south of the capital, Kyiv. It is Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear power plant with three reactors.

A Russian serviceman stands guard at the Zaporizhzhia plant. (AP)

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been occupied by Russian forces since the early days of the invasion and repeatedly came under fire that cut off its transmission lines and eventually forced operators to shut it down to avoid a radiation disaster.

Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for the shelling.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog which has monitors at the Zaporizhzhia plant, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the attack.

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