Leaked footage from inside Europe’s largest nuclear power plant shows Russian “Z” trucks parked just meters from the plant’s reactors.
The video, smuggled out by Russian media outlet Izvestiya, was captured during a tour of the Ukrainian plant by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today.
In the short clip, two men in navy blue sleeveless jackets bearing the IAEA logo walk through the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, one holding a clipboard.
You pass several Russian military trucks with the distinctive “Z” painted on them.
A few armed Russian soldiers watch the men as they pass.
It is unclear who took the pictures.
Today’s footage appears to show the same “Z” trucks pictured at the nuclear plant last month.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi was part of the delegation that visited the plant today.
Earlier this morning, Grossi told Russian media that he saw what he “needed to see” during his visit.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, Grossi said he completed a tour of the “key areas” the IAEA wanted to see in this initial approach.
“Of course there is still a lot more to do and my team is staying. More importantly, the IAEA establishes a continued presence at the facility.”
Earlier in the day, footage emerged showing an explosion rocking a medical building in the town of Enerhodar, just a few kilometers from the nuclear power plant.
It was not immediately clear what type of weapon was used or who was behind the attack.
Ukrainian media blamed Russia for the strike and accused the Kremlin of trying to obstruct the IAEA’s work at the plant.
Agency specialists will remain in Zaporizhia until Saturday at the earliest, a local pro-Russian official said today.
It comes after one of two operating reactors at the Russian-held nuclear power plant complex was shut down when shells also landed in a nearby town.
The facility was seized by Russian troops soon after they invaded and has remained on the frontlines ever since, but fears are mounting that it could be the scene of a catastrophic nuclear disaster.
The plant was taken offline for the first time last week after fire damage to overhead power lines, again from Russian shelling.
The site’s Ukrainian operator, Energoatom, said one of the two operational reactors had been shut down.
“As a result of another mortar shelling by Russian forces on the site of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, emergency response was activated and the operational fifth power plant was shut down,” it said.
Energoatom added that the other entity continues to provide energy for Ukraine and also provides electricity for the power plant’s own needs.
There was increased military activity, including this morning, until recently
Meanwhile, footage from the nearby town of Enerhodar shows explosions in which the local mayor said several civilians were injured.
Russia claimed 60 Ukrainian troops crossed the Dnipro River, which divides the territory held by the two sides, in boats at 6am in what it called a “provocation” aimed at disrupting today’s IAEA visit.
The Kremlin has called for a UN Security Council meeting on September 6 to address the situation in Zaporizhia.
She accuses Ukraine of making a “reckless attempt” to “derail” the IAEA visit by attacking the power plant.
A local Ukrainian mayor previously said the inspector team was unable to reach the plant after leaving the city of Zaporizhia this morning due to Russian shelling along the pre-planned route.
Footage released by Ukraine shows flames from shells exploding beside the road.
The IAEA confirmed that its delegation was delayed for three hours on the Ukrainian-held side of the front line.
Ukrainian nuclear energy operator Enerhoatom blamed Russian mortar fire for shutting down one of the plant’s six reactors.
It was said earlier Thursday that Russian shelling also damaged an emergency power line to the plant.
Mr Rossi previously said: “There has been increased military activity, including this morning until recently.
“But we’re weighing the pros and cons and we’ve come this far, we’re not stopping.”
Fears of a radiation leak have grown, and Energoatom said the risk of fire is also rising.
The facility requires electricity to run the reactors’ vital cooling systems – and a loss of cooling could result in a meltdown.
Many of the radiation fears focus on a possible failure of the cooling system – and the risk that an attack on the cooling ponds, where spent fuel rods are stored, could scatter radioactive material.
Fearing a radiation disaster, iodine tablets were handed out in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia — some 27 miles from the site.
The pills help block the thyroid’s absorption of radioactive iodine in the event of a nuclear disaster.
Ukraine knows the risks of nuclear energy better than any other country in the world.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the north of the country exploded and went into meltdown in 1986 under Soviet control.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/6127723/ukraine-nuclear-power-plant-russia-z-trucks/ Leaked footage at Europe’s largest nuclear facility shows Russian ‘Z’ trucks ‘yards from reactors’