Ukraine: the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant worsens

The situation at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is worsening due to the psychological state of the Ukrainian crew working at the station and the condition of the equipment, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushenko said on Friday.

“The situation, of course, is getting worse. It is getting worse not only from the psychological state of Ukrainian specialists, but also from the state of equipment,” the Energy Minister of Ukraine said on state television.

The Ukrainian crew have remained at the station in southeast Ukraine since it was taken over by Russian forces in March, shortly after the military operation.

The plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was repeatedly bombed, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe. The two sides exchange accusations in the bombing.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, is trying to establish a safe zone around the plant.

The agency says it has a permanent presence of up to four experts in Zaporizhia.

Military fortifications

Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company, Energo Atom, said Russian forces continued to build military fortifications around the plant’s nuclear units.

Energo Atom also added that the Russians of the plant are not in unable to operate power units due to staff shortages and that some 1,500 Ukrainian specialists were denied entry after refusing to sign contracts with the Russian authorities.

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