Ukraine conflict: Russia undermining safety of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant - MoD

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) have said that Russian forces at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant's operations

The UN nuclear watchdog has warned that Europe’s largest power plant is "completely out of control" as they issued an urgent plea to Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the complex to stabilise the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.

The nuclear plant lies in the south-east of Ukraine along the eastern bank of the Dnipro river.

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The MoD update reads: “Following five months of occupation, Russia’s intentions regarding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant remain unclear. However, the actions they have undertaken at the facility have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant’s normal operations.

A Russian serviceman stands guard at the territory outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar. Picture: Andrey Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images

"Russian forces are probably operating in the regions adjacent to the power station and have used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the western bank of the Dnipro river."

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It adds: “Russian forces have probably used the wider facility area, in particular the adjacent city of Enerhodar, to rest their forces, utilising the protected status of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks.”

The American ambassador to Ukraine has also said there are "credible reports" that Russian forces are using the plant "as the equivalent of a nuclear shield, firing at Ukrainians from around the plant".

Despite the reports and claims from the UN, Russian-installed official in the region claimed that Ukrainian forces are using Western-supplied weapons to attack the plant.

Russia shelled the plant when it was seized, leading to international outcry.