As a result of the shelling of the nuclear power plant at night, a fire broke out in the administrative building of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (Energodar, Ukraine).
Yesterday, March 3, after shooting at a checkpoint at the entrance to the city, a convoy of Russian vehicles entered the city of Energodar and moved in the direction of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Mayor Dmitry Orlov said. He stated that at 03:19 a fire broke out in the administrative building of the nuclear power plant, caused by “continuous shelling of the enemy.” According to official data at the time:
a fire was recorded in the building of the training complex. Rescuers are waiting for the end of the battle to start extinguishing; the third power unit was disconnected from the power system (the 4th unit is operating). The reason for the shutdown is not reported; no radiation leak. The fire-fighting state of the NPP is within the normal range; judging by the available data, only the administrative building is on fire so far.
Surveillance cameras recorded that two flares flew into the parking lot of the nuclear power plant, and someone opened fire in the immediate vicinity of the building from the bottom up (possibly, their own air defense system). (out of six, only the 4th unit works).
Due to continuous shelling, firefighters could not start extinguishing the fire in time. As of 4:00 one of the buildings of the training building was still on fire. The fire engulfed from the third to the fifth floors of the building. At 05:20, 40 rescuers and 10 vehicles left to extinguish the fire. At 05:55 the fire was localized.
The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Kuleba, warns that “if the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant explodes, it will be a hundred times worse than Chernobyl.” The Ukrainian authorities demand that NATO introduce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Energoatom published an appeal to the world community, which states that “the shelling is a violation of the nuclear and radiation safety of Europe’s largest nuclear facility.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency says the necessary equipment is still in operation. Experts say that the power unit of the nuclear power plant is a super-protected facility, designed for direct hits by bombs. And it is designed so that at the slightest danger, the reactor turns off automatically (it can also be turned off manually).
Around 6 o’clock in the morning, reports “The country”, rescue teams were allowed to the site of the fire in the building of the educational complex of Zaporozhye NPP. The fire was localized on an area of 2,000 square meters, informs the State Ministry of Emergency Situations:
“At 06:20 (04:20 Moscow time) the fire in the educational building of the Zaporizhzhya NPP in Energodar was extinguished. There were no casualties. The fire was localized on an area of 2,000 square meters.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy recorded a video message on the Zaporizhzhya NPP in the most alarming manner, recalling that there are 15 nuclear power units in Ukraine, if they explode, Europe will face death and evacuation:
“Europe must wake up now: the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is on fire. Right now, Russian tanks are firing at atomic blocks. These are tanks equipped with thermal imagers. That is, they know where they are shooting. They were preparing for this. There are 6 power units!.. One power unit exploded in Chernobyl! I already spoke with Charles Michel, with Scholz, I spoke with Duda, I spoke with President Biden. We contacted the head of the IAEA, Grossi, as well as Prime Minister Johnson. We warn everyone: not a single state, except Russia, has ever fired at nuclear power units! This is the first time in our history, in the history of mankind, that a terrorist state has also resorted to nuclear terror. Now it’s not a threat, now it’s a reality.”
The mayor of Energodar, Dmitry Orlov, said that at present, hostilities at the nuclear power plant have ceased, reports BBC Ukrainian. This happened after heavy shelling continued for several hours.