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At the site of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

A press conference was organized on Sunday for the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and Europe, and the capture by the Russian military has raised concerns in the international community.

The plant, located in the southern Ukrainian city of Energodor (in the Ukrainian language), was separated from Ukrainian control by Moscow forces in early March by the Dnieper water from the regional capital, Zaporizhia. The conflict there has raised fears within the international community about a nuclear disaster similar to the one at Chernobyl in 1986.

Agencies France-Presse (AFP) was able to see the damage: flames engulfed the facade of a large management building that served as a training center for the plant’s staff, and several windows were broken. But no trace of gunfire or bombing has been found in the six cubes of the Red Dome containing the nuclear reactors that began construction in the 1980s.

Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the plant had a capacity of 5,700 MW, which was enough to cover more than 20% of the country’s electricity needs.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency ruled “About” The status of the Zaporizhia power plant has not been accessible to its experts since its acquisition by Moscow. Power Station “Normally complies with nuclear, radioactive and environmental standards”However, Maj. Gen. Valéri Vasiliev, an expert in nuclear and chemical issues, was sent to Moscow to defend the site.

None of the few soldiers guarding behind the sandbags wore masks or any other protective equipment against radiation. “Behold, all is well!”He ousted Andrei Shevtchik, the new pro-Moscow mayor of Energodar, who succeeded the Russians. “We are ready to sell electricity to Europe. Any buyer is welcome. It’s so cheap! ⁇Before leaving in a shimmering SUV covered with Russian flags, he adds.

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However, there is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding the operation of the plant, which is constantly being provided by Ukrainian teams. While these types of on-site press trips during wartime provide a physical overview of the situation, they do not always provide the opportunity for in-depth investigations. Thus, none of the AFP site staff could meet with them to assess the level of coordination between them and the new masters of the campus.

A distant view of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant on April 27, 2022.

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