Major concerns have been raised over Russian attacks on Europe’s biggest nuclear reactor in south-eastern Ukraine.
The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said Moscow targeted the city of Enerhodar and territory around the plant ahead of the is visit.
The plant is one the world’s biggest power stations, capable of powering 20 per cent of Ukraine’s homes, more than its more famous smaller and former neighbour, Chernobyl.
Zaporizhzhya has six reactors, compared to Chernobyl which had four.
Head of Zaporizhzhya oblast state administration, Oleksandr Starukh, said: “Russian forces conducted military attacks at the previously agreed route for the IAEA Mission, hindering the UN Agency’s movement in the area for security purposes.
“We demand an immediate halt to the provocations by the Russian army in order to secure a safe and unobstructed access to the nuclear facility.”
It said in wake of the attacks, a 330 KW reserve power supply line was damaged, the 2nd power unit was de-energized, and diesel-generators were switched on.
Mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, confirmed “that civilians have been directly affected and wounded by the attacks from Russian forces on Enerhodar this morning.
“The Russian army deployed automatic rifles equipped with shells, as well as military aviation tactics, that have impacted residential streets, such as Tsentralna, Voyiniv-Internatsionalistiv and Kurchatova, as well as private houses in the suburbs.”
Orlov added: “Once again, we call upon the international community to condemn Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s sovereign land and continue to support our government in ensuring an effective and safe work environment for the IAEA mission.”
Rafael Grossi, Director General at IAEA, has been informed of the military attacks on ZNPP today but refused to stop the mission: “having come so far, we are not stopping.”
The UK has expressed support for increasing the use of nuclear power.