Kiev is trying to save itself from a catastrophe by shelling the hydroelectric facility that serves the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, according to a local official.
The Shelling of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station by Ukrainian forces risks a nuclear disaster at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Arseniy Zelensky, the Kakhovka plant's deputy director for reconstruction, told reporters on Saturday.
According to Zelensky, Kakhovka is now operating in a very dangerous emergency mode, as quoted by TASS.
The Kakhovka plant is located in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine and was seized by Russian forces in the early stages of Moscow's military operation. The Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been attacked by Kiev s troops with the use of Western-supplied weapons, according to the regional authorities.
There will be big problems at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in case of problems with the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. The deputy director of the Kakhovka plant said that this could lead to a nuclear catastrophe.
He stated to reporters that if the dam is destroyed, the nuclear facility would be deprived of the water needed to cool its reactors.
He stated that the station has been in emergency mode since the first days of hostilities. He said that one of the turbines had to be turned off after Ukrainian rocket attacks and that the station's own needs, backup 6 kV, are lost.
If the military action ends, the plant can be restored within a week, according to Zelensky. The station has not yet received major damage, except for hydroelectric unit number three, which burned down in March. It takes 1.5 years to complete the work, he said.
Zelensky s remarks came on the day after Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of Kherson Region, revealed that the city of Novaya Kakhovka had been attacked by Ukrainian nationalists but no tangible damage was caused. He said that the hydroelectric power station was not damaged.
On Thursday, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council that a nuclear disaster can happen at any moment amid the reckless shelling of the Zaporozhye plant by Kiev s forces.
The Kiev attacks on the nuclear infrastructure facilities are pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear disaster that would rival the Chernobyl one, according to Nebenzia.
Responding to Kiev's claims that Russia was targeting the plant in an attempt to discredit Ukraine, the diplomat said Russia has no reason to target the facility or its troops, and that multiple attacks on the facility have been documented from Ukrainian-held territory in Dnepropetrovsk Region.
The US State Department, however, took Kiev's side by endorsing the demand for a demilitarized zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear plant and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops that control the area.