Third drone attack on Zaporizhzhya NPP this April, IAEA reports

Third reported drone attack on ZNPP
Third reported drone attack on ZNPP

Another “attempted drone attack” on the Russian-occupied Ukrainian Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) at 10:35 a.m. EET was reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on April 18.

It was “the third reported attack targeting the training facility recently", following two such incidents last week. The ZNPP told the IAEA team stationed at the site that today’s drone had been “neutralized”, without giving further details.

The team was denied access to the training center just outside the ZNPP site perimeter to assess the incident, with the plant citing potential security risks.

“So far, the drone strikes have not compromised nuclear safety at the site. But, as I told the United Nations Security Council a few days ago, these reckless attacks must cease immediately,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, adding that there was no damage or casualties as a result of the attack.

It comes less than two weeks after a series of drone attacks significantly deepened concerns about the already precarious nuclear safety and security situation at Europe’s largest frontline nuclear power plant.

Earlier, on April 7, the IAEA announced that a drone had exploded on the grounds of the ZNPP. According to Grossi, the agency recorded at least three direct hits on the ZNPP reactor’s main shield.

Later in its report, the IAEA said that explosions and the sound of gunfire were heard on the ZNPP territory when Russian troops opened fire on an object that looked like a drone. In one of the plant’s six reactor buildings, experts found damage to communications and surveillance equipment. Outside the laboratory, the agency saw bloodstains next to a damaged military vehicle, “indicating at least one casualty.”

Ukraine stated that it was not involved in any provocative actions or strikes on the territory of the Ukrainian nuclear facility and demanded the immediate liberation of the ZNPP territory from Russian troops.

On April 9, Ukrainian military intelligence reported that the security situation at the ZNPP was deteriorating due to the actions of Russian forces, but that no radiation leaks had been detected as a result of the drone explosion.

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