Ukraine’s national nuclear power company Energoatom said in a statement Sunday that Russian shelling has hit the plant’s infrastructure more than 12 times.
“As a result, the communication overpasses with special corps, chemically desalinated water storage tanks, steam generators’ blowdown system, auxiliary systems of one of the two station-wide diesel engines and other equipment of the station infrastructure were damaged,” Energoatom said. “Three hits were also recorded near the ‘Raiduha’ (‘Rainbow’) substation.”
Energoatom said “the nature and list of damaged equipment” at the plant indicate that the aim was to disable “exactly the infrastructure that was necessary to launch power units 5 and 6 and resume electricity production by Zaporizhzhia NPP for the needs of Ukraine.”
Russia’s Ministry of Defense also reported shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Saturday and Sunday, saying it was the result of artillery fired by the Ukranian military.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed the shelling was carried out from the area of the town of Marganets, near Dnipro, controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “The enemy’s firepower was suppressed by return fire from Russian artillery units,” Russia’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
“The radiation situation in the area of the nuclear power plant remains normal,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding experts from IAEA and Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corporation, Rosatom, will assess the possible damage.
CNN is not able to verify the claims by Energoatom and the Russian Defense Ministry.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement Sunday that powerful explosions shook the area of the plant Saturday evening and Sunday morning. More than a dozen blasts were heard within a short period of time Sunday morning local time, “in what appeared to be renewed shelling both close to and at the site” of the plant, IAEA said.