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UN demands access to Ukraine nuclear plant 

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The United Nations has called for international inspectors to be given access to Europe’s largest nuclear plant, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.

The call comes as Ukraine and Russia trade accusations over the shelling of the nuclear plant at the weekend.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the call at a news conference at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing.

“Any attack on a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing,” Guterres said.

Guterres renewed the call for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be given access to the plant.

“We fully support the IAEA in all their efforts in relation to creating the conditions of stabilization of the plant,” Guterres said.

IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi warned on Saturday that the latest attack “underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.

 Ukraine said renewed Russian shelling on Saturday had damaged three radiation sensors and hurt a worker at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the second hit in consecutive days on the site.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of waging “nuclear terror” that warranted more international sanctions, this time on Moscow’s nuclear sector.

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“There is no such nation in the world that could feel safe when a terrorist state fires at a nuclear plant,” Zelenskiy said in a televised address on Sunday.

Russian forces captured the plant in southeastern Ukraine in early March but it is still run by Ukrainian technicians.

The Russian-installed authority of the area said Ukrainian forces hit the site with multiple rocket launchers, damaging administrative buildings and an area near a storage facility.

The Russian embassy in Washington also released a statement itemizing the damage.

“Ukrainian nationalists launched an artillery strike on the territory of the specified object on August 5. 

 “Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the shelling. 

 “Only thanks to the effective and timely actions of the Russian military in covering the nuclear power facility, its critical infrastructure was not affected,” the embassy said.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source Reuters
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