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Ukrainian, EU leaders discuss situation at nuclear plant

This April 27, 2022 file photo shows a general view of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the Russian-controlled area of Enerhodar, seen from Nikopol. (ED JONES / AFP)

KYIV/MOSCOW – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that he had discussed the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in southern Ukraine with European Council President Charles Michel.

Ukraine and Russia on Sunday exchanged accusations over a fresh strike on the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which is one of the largest atomic power complexes in Europe and generates a quarter of Ukraine's total electricity. 

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Energoatom said it's impossible to properly monitor the radiation situation at the power plant site because three radiation monitoring detectors around the facility were damaged

The plant has been under the control of Russian forces since March and has been the scene of military strikes in recent days.

During the talks, Zelensky informed Michel about the situation at the nuclear power plant, and urged the imposition of sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry and nuclear fuel in the wake of the attacks.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine's state-run nuclear energy operator Energoatom accused Russian forces of shelling the power plant, saying the latest rocket attacks on Saturday hit the area next to the plant's dry storage facility, where 174 containers with spent nuclear fuel were stored in the open air.

It is impossible to properly monitor the radiation situation at the site because three radiation monitoring detectors around the facility were damaged, said Energoatom.

On Sunday, the TASS news agency reported that the administration of Energodar city, which is home to the nuclear power plant, blamed the Ukrainian army for the overnight attacks.

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The city said Ukrainian troops launched a strike against the plant using the 220-mm Uragan multiple launch rocket system on Saturday night. The storage facility for spent nuclear fuel was in the affected area. The submunitions and the rocket engine fell within 400 meters of the operating power unit, it added.