After being attacked by Russian troops, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant caught fire early Friday morning. Experts said it was extinguished by the dawn but still presented dangerous risks.
On Friday, the Ukrainian State Emergency Service stated that the flames at the facility located 350 miles south-east of Kyiv were out just minutes before sunrise.
“At 06.20, the fire at Enerhodar’s Zaporizhzhia National Party Training Building was put out. According to the statement, there are no injuries or deaths.
Andriy Tuz was a spokesperson of Zaporizhzhia, and posted a Telegram video stating that one reactor had caught fire but was still in operation.
He said that “there is a real danger of nuclear danger at the largest atomic energy plant in Europe.”
According to AP reports, he said that shells fell directly onto the Zaporizhzhia reactor, although the reactor wasn’t operating.
He claimed that nuclear fuel is contained within.
Tuz explained that firefighters couldn’t reach the fire because of being shot at.
Live feeds from the station show a stream of military vehicles shooting at nuclear plants, setting off flames and sparking concerns about the possibility of radiation catastrophe in the country currently being invaded by Russian troops.
But nuclear experts warned against exaggerating the danger. Chernobyl is a different situation. The foreign minister was accused of creating unnecessary panic by invoking an explosion that would be ten times as destructive as the 1986 accident.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the fire had not damaged ‘essential equipment’ at the moment it was put out.
Rafael Grossi (director of IAEA) tweeted early Friday morning that he was “deeply concerned” by the current situation and demanded an immediate halt to all fighting at the plant.
Friday was the IAEA’s official statement. It stated that it had placed its Incident and Emergency Centre in full 24/7 mode to deal with a severe situation.
IAEA stated that plant personnel are taking mitigation actions.
In response to the attack, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of ‘nuclear terror’ while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will seek an emergency UN Security Council meeting in the coming hours, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
“The UK will raise this matter immediately with Russia,” they said.
Johnson tweeted, “I have just spoken with President Zelensky concerning the extremely worrying situation at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station.”
Russia must cease all attacks against the power station immediately and give unrestricted access for the emergency services to it.
The Associated Press was told by a Kyiv official that elevated radiation levels had been found near the plant’s site. Later, a plant spokesperson stated that they were at normal levels. Ukraine’s 24-TV channel reported that the plant director said that radiation security had been established.
Thursday night, the International Atomic Energy Agency expressed deep concern but also stressed that radiation levels have not increased.
“#Ukraine regulator says to IAEA that no increase in radioactivity has been reported at the #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant location,” they tweeted.
Moscow is now even more isolated, as Airbnb became the fifth company to leave the country, following Ikea, BP Shell, HSBC and Apple.
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweeted that the company had suspended all Russian and Belarus operations.
Ukrainian atomic energy minister said one of six generator units in the plant was damaged due to Russian fire. Zaporizhzhia is home to six nuclear reactors, and almost 25% of Ukraine’s electricity.
Although initial reports claimed that Russian troops blocked emergency service from reaching the scene of the fire at a building housing radioactive material were false, it was later confirmed by local media that they were able extinguishing it.
Dmytro Kuleba was Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. He stated that there were ‘firing from every side’ at the facility.
On Twitter, he said that Russia’s army had fired from all directions on Zaporizhzhia NPP. This is the biggest nuclear power plant Europe has ever seen.
“Fire” has already broken out. The fire will likely be 10x larger than Chornobyl. Russians need to immediately stop the fire and allow firefighters to put out the alarm.
Kuleba was speaking about the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in northern Ukraine. This was when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.
After many hours of uncertainty, Ukrainian authorities announced that the site had been secured.
Smoke clouds the area in front of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant early Friday morning as Russian tanks (on the road, centre) attack the facility
Sparks erupt from an administration building (bottom right) as a live steam video shot from a larger office block behind it films Russian tanks opening fire on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the early hours of Friday morning
A projectile (the bright light, bottom left) lands in a car park at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, damaging cars in the area
An explosion hits the Zaporizhzhia early on Friday as Russian tanks attack the facility
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of ‘nuclear terror’ and wanting to repeat the Chernobyl disaster – considered the worst nuclear disaster in history.
He said, “You know the term Chernobyl,” in a Friday morning video, calling for Russia to stop its attacks.
“Russia is the only country that has fired upon nuclear power units.”
“This is our first ever time in history. The history of humanity.
In the video message, he stated that “The terrorist state” had resorted now to nuclear terror.
Zelensky declared: “Europe must wake up.” At the moment, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is on fire.
“Russian tanks shoot at nuclear blocks” They are equipped with thermal imagingrs so that they can see what they’re aiming for.
President Joe Biden had spoken with his Ukrainian counterpart about the attack, while a Downing Street spokeswoman said Johnson had also spoken to Zelensky.
The spokeswoman called the situation ‘gravely concerning’, adding: ‘Both leaders agreed that Russia must immediately cease its attack on the power station and allow unfettered access for emergency services to the plant.
“The Prime Minister stated that the dangerous actions of Vladimir Putin may now be directly threatening the safety of Europe.
“He stated that the UK would do all it could to prevent the situation from getting worse.”
“The Prime Minister stated that he will seek an urgent UN Security Council meeting within the next hours and that the UK would immediately raise the issue with Russia and other close partners.
“Both leaders reached an agreement that a ceasefire was essential.”
The White House was monitoring the situation, officials said.
‘POTUS spoke with President Zelenskyy this evening to receive an update on the fire at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant,’ the White House tweeted.
He joined President Zelenskyy and urged Russia to cease military activity in the area, and to allow firefighters and emergency workers to get to the site.
The President also had a conversation with U.S. Department of Energy’s Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of National Nuclear Security Administration, to hear an update on situation at the facility.
“The President will be kept informed regularly.”
At one time, the live feed from the plant showed flashing lights coming from emergency vehicles. However, their path was blocked off by tanks along the road that leads to the reactors.
The fighting for key regions of energy production was intense between Russian and local troops. Dmytro Orlov, mayor, reported the incident in an internet post. He also said that there were casualties, but did not give details.
Orlov claimed that Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear power plants were on the verge of catching fire due to enemy bombing of their buildings and units. This is a danger to global security.
Pictured: Reactor 1 of the plant is shown live on the camera feed from power plant during drama tonight. The plant was believed to have caught fire after being struck with Russian weapons.
Live streaming shows tanks outside of the power station. To the left of shot, a fire is raging on the lower floors.
Live footage from Zaporizhzhia showed flames in Ukraine’s east. It had previously shown tanks firing on buildings, prompting concerns about a potential radiation catastrophe in the country being invaded currently by Russian troops.
Zaporizhzhia, which has six reactors nuclear, is the most powerful in Europe. This plant accounts for around 25% of Ukraine’s power generation. A report stated that the fire started about 150 m away from one the reactors.
Enerhodar is the local government that owns the plant. The mayor stated that earlier, Ukrainian forces had been fighting Russian troops at the city’s fringes.
The video showed black smoke and flames rising over the more than 50,000-capacity city, as people rushed past the wrecked vehicles. This was just one day after U.N. nuclear watchdog agency raised grave concerns that fighting might cause damage to Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors.
Ukrainian authorities claimed that Russian troops had invaded the town Thursday night with tanks and were intensifying their attempts to seize control of the vital energy-producing region.
Russian troops were defiantly repelled by civilians who ran for the safety of the nuclear reactor’s second day. In an effort to block the access to the nuclear plant, they set up roadblocks.
Orlov and the Ukrainian state-atomic energy company Orlov both warned that troops could be near Zaporizhzhia’s power station. According to officials, there were loud shots heard late on Thursday in the area.
Many young men wearing athletic clothing and carrying Kalashnikovs entered the city. Energoatom reported that the men were breaking down doors to gain entry into apartments.
Denys shmyhal (the Ukrainian Prime Minister) joined President Ukraine to call on the West not to fly over Ukraine’s nuclear facilities as violence intensified near the key energy hub of Dnieper River, and Khakhovka Reservoir.
Shmyhal stated that he had already made appeals to NATO and International Atomic Energy Agency (the United Nations’ watchdog for atomic weapons), before.
“Close the skies above Ukraine!” It’s a matter of security for the world. Shmyhal stated this in a statement that was released Thursday evening.
NATO and the United States have rejected the idea of creating a no fly zone because it would pit Western and Russian militaries. There are fears that such an action might spark a third World War.
Earlier, huge plumes of black smoke and fire were seen coming from a makeshift barricade on the main route to the Zaporizhzhia site, as an air raid siren wailed in the background.
The footage was taken yesterday and showed soldiers holding guns while wearing bulletproof vests. It appeared that Russian troops were firing ammunition.
In a Facebook video, mayor Orlov posted two videos showing brave citizens throwing molotov cocktails at Russian troops.
As Russian troops move through Ukraine, missiles that light up the sky were also fired Thursday night.
Zaporizhzhia, which houses six of Ukraine’s fifteen nuclear reactors is the biggest of Ukraine’s sites.
Russia already has control over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This was the site of the worst nuclear accident in the history of humanity, which occurred in 1986.
Greenpeace International specialists found that in the worst case scenario, if explosions cause damage to Zaporizhzhia’s reactor containment or cooling systems, they could even create an earthquake in Japan.
A huge plume of black smoke and flame was seen from an unmanned barricade at the Zaporizhzhia Site in eastern Ukraine. In the background, a siren for air attacks hummed.
The video was captured earlier today. It showed two armed men with rifles and bulletproof vests. Russian troops were firing rounds at the ammunition.
In this video uploaded to Facebook by Dmitri Orlov (mayor of Enerhodar), two brave civilians can seen throwing molotov cocktail in the direction Russian forces.
Ukrainian civilians set up roadblocks using brightly orange cars and heaps of tires on Wednesday to block the main highway leading to Zaporizhzhia.
Armed with Ukrainian flags, the volunteers set up an army barricade to prevent Russian troops from approaching Enerhodar.
Social media footage showed that the blockade was reportedly one kilometre in length and included scrap cars, garbage trucks, and sandbags.
Anton Gerashchenko is an advisor to Ukraine’s interior ministry.
On Facebook, he posted that “Because Vladimir Putin’s madness”, Europe was once again at the edge of nuclear catastrophe.
“The largest European nuclear power station is in the city of London. It is now preparing to fight the invaders. Unexpected events can occur, such as at the Fukushima or Chernobyl nuclear power plants.
‘Russian generals – think again! Radiation doesn’t know any nationalities and does not spare anyone.
Russia informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has taken full control over the surrounding area of the plant.
Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians defied Russian troops on Wednesday in a bid to protect Europe’s largest nuclear plant Zaporizhzhia
The army of volunteers, armed with Ukrainian flags and attempting to stop the advance of Russian troops in the area of Enerhodar, set up a human barricade.
Social media footage showed that the blockade was reportedly one kilometre in length and included scrap cars, garbage trucks, and sandbags
Zaporizhzhia’s locals prepare and transport sandbags inside and out of the hospital to make it less vulnerable to Russian attacks
A man carries a sandbag to seal the entrance to the Emergency Care Hospital in Zaporizhzhia, the site of the Europe’s largest nuclear plant
According to the UN nuclear watchdog, Moscow claims that technicians from Zaporizhzhia are continuing their work on nuclear safety and radiation monitoring in normal operation.
Wednesday’s letter included the following: ‘The radiation level remains normal.
Rafael Grossi of the IAEA, the chief for Ukraine, warned that an ‘accident with the nuclear facilities in Ukraine’ could lead to severe health consequences and environmental damage.
It was important to make sure that those who regulate, inspect, and evaluate the Ukrainian nuclear facilities can carry out their essential jobs without any undue pressure.
Jan Vande Putte is co-author of this risk analysis.
“This, in addition to many other reasons, is why Putin should immediately end his war on Ukraine.”
Zaporizhia’s defense is a symbol of everyday heroism displayed by Ukrainians.
Vitali Klitschko was the mayor of Kyiv and he told BBC that he’d seen civilians waiting in line for hours to obtain weapons.
The former world champion boxer stated, “Right now people are proud.”
His brother Wladimir, who was also a top fighter, said: ‘This is our home. We have our parents buried here and all of our children attend school here.
“Why should I flee? How would you respond if someone broke into your home? It is your home.