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Ukraine war - live updates: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant could become 'dirty bomb', Ukraine warns

Both Ukraine and Russia have warned of an imminent attack on the plant by the other side

Zaporizhzhia. 29th Mar, 2023. This photo taken on March 29, 2023 shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Visiting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi has arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, the country's state-run nuclear energy operator Energoatom said Wednesday. Credit: Victor/Xinhua/Alamy Live News
Both Ukraine and Russia have warned of an imminent attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. (Alamy)

Ukraine's foreign ministry has shared a video showing possible scenarios for an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after both Russia and Ukraine suggested the other side were looking to shell the facility.

"For the first time in history, an invading army captured a nuclear power plant," the ministry tweeted. "A Ukrainian facility with 6 nuclear reactors is controlled by Russia. Here are three scenarios of how Russia can transform this facility into a dirty bomb — or worse," it added, sharing a video modelling potential fallout scenarios.

And despite experts with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not finding evidence of explosives at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, an article from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists urged the West to be prepared for potential fallout.

Such an attack on the plant in Ukraine would be "akin to Chernobyl", an expert warned after both Russia and Ukraine suggested an attack from the other side is imminent.

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Fears over Zaporizhzhia plant

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday that he had told French president Emmanuel Macron that "the occupation troops are preparing dangerous provocations at the Zaporizhzhia".

Ukrainian armed forces stated on Telegram that operational data suggested explosive devices had been planted on the roof of the power station. "If detonated, they would not damage the reactors but would create an image of shelling from the Ukrainian side," they said.

Conversely, Russia claimed that Ukraine was planning to shell the plant, which is in the Russian-occupied city of Enerhodar, amid long-running fears over a nuclear disaster at what is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

"Under cover of darkness overnight on 5th July, the Ukrainian military will try to attack the Zaporizhzhia station using long-range precision equipment and kamikaze attack drones," said Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Russian nuclear network Rosenergoatom.