Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is in an area currently under Russian control (Picture: STRINGER/AFP)
The UN’s atomic watchdog has warned fighting close to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant could be a threat to nuclear safety.
There has been a spike in fighting close to the power plant, as Ukraine’s forces continue their counteroffensive.
IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi said his team had been told staffing at the plant had been reduced to minimum levels due to concerns about increased military action in the area.
He said: ‘I remain deeply concerned about the possible dangers facing the plant at this time of heightened military tension in the region.
‘Whatever happens in a conflict zone, wherever it may be, everybody would stand to lose from a nuclear accident, and I urge that all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid it happening.’
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is in the top 10 biggest nuclear plants in the world, and there are concerns fighting could cause a radiation leak from the facility.
Its six reactors have been shut down for months, but the plant still needs power and qualified staff to keep cooling systems and other safety features running.
Earlier this year concerns were raised after explosives were found at the plant – which has been in Russian hands since the start of the war.
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