Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the world narrowly avoided a radiation disaster on Thursday after Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant was temporarily cut off from the electrical grid because of fire damage.
According to Zelensky, Europe was put “one step away” from nuclear disaster as electricity to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was cut for hours after alleged Russian shelling in the area.
He said the shelling sparked fires in a nearby coal power station that disconnected the reactor complex at the nuclear plant from the power grid.
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Moscow has denied the allegation and has accused Ukraine of recklessly firing on the facility.
MSN reports: Back-up diesel generators ensured power supply that is vital for cooling and safety systems at the plant, he said, praising the Ukrainian technicians who operate the plant under the gaze of the Russian military.
“If our station staff had not reacted after the blackout, then we would have already been forced to overcome the consequences of a radiation accident,” he said in an evening address.
“Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans in a situation one step away from a radiation disaster.”
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed official in the occupied town of Enerhodar near the plant, blamed Ukraine’s armed forces for a fire in a forest near the plant. He said towns in the area lost power for several hours on Thursday.