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Heavy shelling, Russia warns of nuclear accident at Europe's largest power plant

Heavy shelling was reported near Zaporizhzhia plant over weekend

 Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (File) A general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine | AP

Russia's nuclear energy agency Rosatom on Monday warned of a nuclear accident after heavy shelling was reported near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest nuclear power station in Europe. UN nuclear watchdog urged on Sunday that the shelling should stop immediately.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog said it would inspect the plant premises on Monday and assess damages. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in a statement on Sunday said repeated shelling at the site of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) damaged buildings, systems and equipment, with some of the explosions occurring near the reactors.

Rossi said, “Even though there was no direct impact on key nuclear safety and security systems at the plant, the shelling came dangerously close to them. We are talking metres, not kilometres. Whoever is shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is taking huge risks and gambling with many people’s lives.”

Both Russia and Ukraine accused each other of carrying out explosions at the site. Russia called for a global response over shelling near the plant. "This cannot but cause our concern," Reuters reported quoting Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "We call on all countries of the world to use their influence so that the Ukrainian armed forces stop doing this," the publication reported quoting the spokesperson. However, Ukraine accused Russia of shelling near the plant. 

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