By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV (Worthy News) – Europe was on edge Saturday as the United Nations nuclear watchdog demanded an end to military action near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, warning of a “very real risk of a nuclear disaster.”
Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), spoke after the plant was hit by shelling, causing one of the reactors to shut down.
The operator of the Zaporizhzhia plant, Enerhoatom, said there was a risk of radioactive leaks.
Grossi pleaded to authorities, “for the sake of protecting people in Ukraine and elsewhere from a potential nuclear accident, we must all set aside our differences and act, now.”
The IAEA official said he is “extremely concerned by the shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.”
He warned that it “underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond.”
The IAEA “is ready” to help, Grossi pledged. Military observers and witnesses say Moscow uses the protected area as a staging ground for missile strikes and the placing of heavy weapons.
“Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs,” Grossi said. “Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences.”
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