The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday, citing the Ukrainian Atomic Energy Agency, that workers at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant continue to operate, but the department is now subject to orders from the commander of the Russian forces that seized it last week.
“I am deeply concerned,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said in a statement released through the IAEA official website, adding that Russian forces had cut off some mobile phone and internet networks, complicating communications with the station.
“Management and staff must be allowed to perform their vital duties in stable conditions without undue external interference or pressure,” he added.
It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian mayor of Energodar had announced in a post on the Internet, on Friday that the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant had caught fire.
The Ukrainian authorities confirmed that the Russian forces were shooting from all sides at the station until flames erupted, stressing that the firefighters were unable to absorb the fires.
However, the director of the station later announced that radiation safety had been secured in it, while firefighting crews were allowed to enter it.
In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appealed to the Russians to stop the bombing of the station in the center of the country, which is the largest ever in all of Europe, warning of an unimaginable disaster if it exploded.
The minister said in a tweet on Twitter that if it exploded, the explosion would be 10 times greater than Chernobyl, referring to an accident that occurred in 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history.