Ukraine accuses Russia of shelling nuclear plant again

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KYIV, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia on Sunday of again shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the Zaporizhzhia, and called for new international sanctions on Moscow for “nuclear terror”.

Ukraine’s state nuclear power firm said Russian forces damaged three radiation sensors at the facility in renewed shelling on Saturday night, wounding a worker with shrapnel.

“Russian nuclear terror requires a stronger response from the international community – sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry and nuclear fuel,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on Twitter.

The plant, in Russian-controlled territory, was also shelled on Friday. Moscow blames Ukrainian forces for the strikes.

Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom said the latest Russian rocket attacks hit the plant’s dry storage facility, where 174 containers with spent nuclear fuel were stored in the open air.

“Consequently, timely detection and response in the event of a deterioration in the radiation situation or leakage of radiation from containers of spent nuclear fuel are not yet possible,” it said.

In a statement carried by Interfax news agency, the Russian-installed administration of occupied Enerhodar, where the plant’s employees live, said Ukraine had struck using a 220-mm Uragan multiple rocket launcher system.

“The administrative buildings and the adjacent territory of the storage facility were damaged,” it said

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had said Friday’s shelling showed the risk of a nuclear disaster. Those shells hit a high-voltage power line, prompting the plant’s operators to disconnect a reactor despite no radioactive leak being detected.

The Zaporizhzhia plant was captured by Russian forces in early March in the opening stage of the war but is still run by Ukrainian technicians. 

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Frances Kerry and Andrew Cawthorne)

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