By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV (Worthy News) – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres wants international inspectors to be given access to a vast nuclear power plant in war-torn Ukraine, saying an attack on the site is “suicidal.”
He spoke as Ukraine and Russia accused each other of shelling Europe’s largest atomic plant in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian authorities claimed parts of the nuclear power plant were seriously damaged and that there is an increased risk of fire and radiation.
Enerhoatom, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear firm, said 500 Russian soldiers are at the site backed by rocket launchers, despite U.N. warnings of a nuclear disaster.
Ukrainian authorities warned that parts of the nuclear power plant are seriously damaged and that there is an increased risk of fire and radiation.
Russian troops have occupied the facility since March. The United States has accused Russia of using the nuclear site to shield its forces.
Moscow has denied wrongdoing. The reported clashes around the site prompted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to warn of “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster.”
Guterres shared the concerns of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, saying IAEA inspectors should be given access to the Zaporizhzhia atomic plant. “Any attack on a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. I hope those attacks will end, and at the same time, I hope that the IAEA will be able to access the plant,” he said Monday.
Guterres spoke in Japan, where he visited Hiroshima over the weekend to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing, which resulted in 140,000 deaths.
The bombing by the U.S. military of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, was followed by the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9 of that year, instantly killing more than 75,000 people. Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War Two.
With Ukraine now at war, Guterres wants to prevent another nuclear disaster that could potentially harm many people across Europe and beyond.
Despite rising concerns over the nuclear dangers surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there was some hopeful news: Two more ships loaded with grain set sail from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports taking the total to ten since the first vessel sailed last week.
It’s part of a deal on secure maritime grain exports with Russia, brokered by the U.N. and Turkey amid efforts to feed a growing number of hungry people.
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