Russians attack cities near nuclear power plant

Russia and Ukraine traded allegations of rocket and artillery attacks near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant on Sunday, intensifying fears the fighting could spark a large-scale radiation leak.

Ukraine’s atomic energy agency yesterday painted a disturbing picture of the threat by publishing a forecast of where radiation from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which Russia took control of soon after the start of the war, could spread.

Over the weekend, attacks were reported not only in the immediate vicinity of the Russian-controlled power station along the left bank of the Dnieper River, but also on the right bank under Ukrainian control, including the cities of Nikopol. and Marhanets, each about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the facility.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had attacked the plant twice in the past 24 hours, with shells landing near fuel and radioactive waste storage buildings.

“One shell fell in the area of ​​the sixth power unit, and the other five in front of the pumping station of the sixth unit, which provides cooling for this reactor,” Konashenkov said, adding that radiation levels were normal.

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency also reported yesterday that radiation levels were normal.

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