Ukraine’s state nuclear power company, Energoatom, said on Sunday that a worker was wounded when Russian forces again shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the biggest in Europe, on Saturday evening.
The site of the plant’s dry storage facility, where 174 containers with spent nuclear fuel are stored in the open air, was hit by rocket attacks, Energoatom said on the Telegram messaging app.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had raised grave concerns on Saturday about shelling the previous day at Zaporizhzhia, saying the action showed the risk of a nuclear disaster.
The Zaporizhzhia plant was captured by Russian forces in the opening stage of the war but is still run by Ukrainian technicians.
Shells hit a high-voltage power line on Friday at the nuclear facility, prompting its operators to disconnect a reactor despite no radioactive leak being detected.
Both sides accused each other on Saturday of engaging in “nuclear terrorism.” Energoatom blamed Russia for the damage while Russia’s Defence Ministry accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for a stronger international response to what he described as Russian “nuclear terror.”
During a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel, Zelenskyy called for sanctions to be imposed on the Russian nuclear industry and nuclear fuel, the Ukrainian leader wrote on Twitter.
More ships cleared to depart
Elsewhere, four more ships carrying agricultural cargo held up by the war received authorization Sunday to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, under a deal to export grain trapped since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly six months ago.
The body overseeing the international agreement intended to get some 18 million tonnes of grain out of Ukraine and to feed impoverished people in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia said the loaded vessels were expected to depart Chornomorsk and Odesa on Monday.
Monitors said the ships would be transporting more than 155,000 tonnes of corn combined. One carrier is destined for Istanbul, another is headed to Nantong in China and a third is going to Turkey’s Iskenderun port on the Mediterranean.
The fourth ship cleared for departure is carrying more than 5,900 tonnes of sunflower oil to Monopoli, Italy.