Drone Hits Nuclear Plant, Upping Risk of 'Major Accident'

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is under Moscow's control since Russia seized it in 2022
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
Drone Hits Nuclear Plant, Upping Risk of 'Major Accident'
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, is seen in the background of the shallow Kakhovka Reservoir after the dam collapse, in Energodar, Russian-occupied Ukraine, Tuesday, June 27, 2023.   (AP Photo/Libkos, File)

The head of the UN's atomic watchdog agency on Sunday condemned a Ukrainian drone strike on one of six nuclear reactors at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, saying such attacks "significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident." In a statement on the social media platform X, Rafael Mariano Grossi confirmed at least three direct hits against the ZNPP main reactor containment structures took place, the AP reports. "This cannot happen," he said. He said it was the first such attack since November 2022, when he set out five basic principles to avoid a serious nuclear accident with radiological consequences.

  • Officials at the plant said the site was attacked Sunday by Ukrainian military drones, including a strike on the dome of the plant's sixth power unit. According to the plant authorities, there was no critical damage or casualties and radiation levels at the plant were normal after the strikes.
  • Later on Sunday, however, Russian state-owned nuclear agency Rosatom said that three people were wounded in the "unprecedented series of drone attacks," specifically when a drone hit an area close to the site's canteen.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency said Sunday that its experts had been informed of the drone strike and that "such detonation is consistent with IAEA observations." In a separate statement, the IAEA confirmed physical impact of drone attacks at the plant, including at one of its six reactors. One casualty was reported, it said. "Damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, but this is a serious incident with potential to undermine integrity of the reactor's containment system," it added.
(More Ukraine stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.