LVIV, Ukraine, March 4 (Reuters): During severe battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces, a fire broke out in a training building near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s official emergency service stated on Friday.
There was no sign of heightened radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which generates more than a fifth of Ukraine’s total power, according to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Shelling and smoke rose near a five-story building at the facility site, according to a video feed from the plant verified by Reuters.
A massive candescent ball lighted up the sky, bursting beside a car park and sending smoke pouring across the compound, according to footage filmed at night, which showed one building aflame and a salvo of incoming shells. It was unclear who was in charge of the factory at the time.
“Europeans, please wake up. Tell your politicians – Russian troops are shooting at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine,”in a video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy remarked.
Although there was no indication that the nuclear reactor plants had been struck, Zelenskiy claimed that Russian tanks had fired at them.
The mayor of Energodar, a small town around 550 kilometres (342 miles) southeast of Kyiv, claimed there had been injuries in the area due to heavy combat and “constant enemy shelling,” but did not provide further specifics.
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the worst attack on a European state since World War Two last Thursday, tens of thousands of people are thought to have been killed or injured, and over one million refugees have fled Ukraine.
Early news of the power plant mishap threw Asian financial markets into a tailspin, with stocks plunging and oil prices jumping even higher.
“Nuclear fallout is causing concern in the markets. The risk is that a miscalculation or overreaction occurs, prolonging the battle “Vasu Menon, OCBC Bank’s executive director of investment strategy, agreed.
Russia has already taken control of the Chernobyl nuclear power facility, approximately 100 kilometres north of Kyiv, which melted down in 1986 and blasted toxic waste across most of Europe. According to some analysts, the Zaporizhzhia plant is a separate and safer variety.
President Joe Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom both spoke with Zelenskiy to seek an update on the plant’s position.