(TheConservativeNews.org) – The United States Department of Energy has activated its Nuclear Response Team after a fire, which is now under control, began at the largest nuclear facility in Ukraine in the middle of the conflict between Russian and Ukrainian military forces.
“I just spoke with Ukraine’s energy minister about the situation at the Zaphorizhizia nuclear plant. Russian military operations near the plant are reckless and must cease,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Twitter.
.@ENERGY has activated its Nuclear Incident Response Team and is monitoring events in consultation with @DeptofDefense, @NRCgov and the White House. We have seen no elevated radiation readings near the facility,” she said.
“The plant’s reactors are protected by robust containment structures and reactors are being safely shut down,” she said.
Fox News reported:
Russian forces opened fire at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia plant in the city of Enerhodar, early Friday morning, starting a fire and sparking concerns of a nuclear disaster on the level of Chernobyl.
Ukraine’s nuclear authority announced later Friday morning, however, that the fire had been extinguished, the power units remained intact, and no changes in radiation had been detected. Even so, the plant had fallen into Russian hands.
“ZNPP power units remain intact, unit 1 reactor compartment auxiliary buildings have been damaged, which does not affect the safety of the unit,” the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate said. “The systems and components important to the safety of the NPP are operational.”
“At present, no changes in the radiation situation have been registered,” it said.
“Currently, the site of the Zaporizhzhia NPP is occupied by the military forces of the Russian Federation,” it said.
As the fire was raging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was desperately commenting on the situation.
“The biggest nuclear power plant in Europe is on fire right now,” the Ukrainian president said. “Russian tanks are shooting at the nuclear blocks. These are tanks equipped with thermal imagers, so they know what they are shooting at.”
He pointed to the fact that the Zaporizhzhya plant has six reactors whereas only one exploded at Chernobyl in 1986.
“For the first time ever in our history, in the history of humankind, the terrorist country has reverted to nuclear terror,” he said. “Russian propaganda had warned in the past to cover the world in nuclear ash. Now this isn’t just a warning, this is real.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba was also active on Twitter during the fire.
“Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Fire has already broke out. If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!” he said.
Politicians from the United States and other NATO nations also commented during the fire.
“#Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in #Ukraine has 6 reactors, is the largest one in all of Europe, and the 9th largest on earth #Russia is currently attacking it with mortars and RPGs Portions of the plan are currently on fire Russians firing on the Firefighters too,” Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said.
“I’ve just spoken to President @ZelenskyyUa about the gravely concerning situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. Russia must immediately cease its attack on the power station and allow unfettered access for emergency services to the plant,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
But others believed that Ukraine was overhyping the incident.
“Memo to media: it makes perfect sense for Ukraine officials to hype this nuclear plant incident, about which few details are known, as the next Chernobyl. They’re trying to instigate US/NATO intervention. They couldn’t be more clear about it. You’re aware of this, right?” reporter Michael Tracey said.
“The Ukrainian government, including Zelensky, *lied* about Russians critically damaging the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in a way that caused radiation levels to rise, which they used to justify getting US/NATO involved. The Ukrainian government is actively trying to start WWIII,” Chronicles Magazine editor Pedro Gonzalez said.