Ukraine: Brazen Russian move raises concerns over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

The United States has condemned any Russian attempt to divert energy from Ukraine, where authorities said the giant Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was cut off from its national grid for a short time.

“The electricity it produces rightfully belongs to Ukraine and any attempt to disconnect the plant from the Ukrainian power grid and redirect it to occupied areas is unacceptable,” the State Department spokesperson said. Vedant Patel to reporters.

“No country should turn a nuclear power plant into an active war zone and we oppose any Russian effort to militarize or divert power from the plant,” he said.

Kyiv said earlier that Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s biggest nuclear facility – had for the first time been severed from its national grid after fighting around the complex.

Mr Patel said the US had no indication of abnormal radiation levels and applauded the “courage and selflessness” of Ukrainian workers at the plant.

President Joe Biden, in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, called on Russia to return full control of the plant and let in UN nuclear inspectors, the White House said.

Bonnie Jenkins, undersecretary of state for arms control, said Moscow – which invaded Ukraine in February – was responsible for plant security.

“Their actions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have created a serious risk of a nuclear incident – a release of dangerous radiation – which could threaten not only the people and the environment of Ukraine, but also affect neighboring countries and the entire international community,” Ms Jenkins told reporters. .

“The risk of radiation release could be virtually eliminated if Russia returned control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to Ukraine and completely withdrew from Ukraine’s sovereign territory.”

Originally published as US says any Russian attempt to hijack Ukrainian nuclear power ‘unacceptable’

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