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A nuclear expert from the University of Sheffield speaks after the Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine UK News

Speaking on BBC News, Professor Claire Corkhill, a nuclear materials expert from the University of Sheffield, said one of the main issues was whether power was cut at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in the south -eastern Ukraine.

She said: “We are not looking at another Chernobyl accident, but the main concern here is that the power supply is cut off, it prevents the pumps from working which cool the reactor and if that were to happen, the nuclear fuel inside would melt and a series of reactions would occur leading to explosions and the release of radioactivity into the local area.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “playing with fire” by attacking the Zaporizhzhia site – a move Western officials said was unprecedented.

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Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), points to a map of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as he briefs the press on the situation of nuclear power plants in Ukraine during a conference of special press at IAEA headquarters in Vienna. Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images

Officials said the site was now likely under Russian control, but Ukrainian personnel were still on the ground providing security.

Speaking at a press conference in Copenhagen, Mr Wallace said the move was “incredibly dangerous”.

“It’s not just dangerous for Ukraine and Russia, it’s dangerous for Europe, and it’s playing with fire that really goes beyond anything to do with logic or necessity,” did he declare.

After speaking to Ukrainian authorities on Friday, Rafael Grossi, the director general of the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said a building next to the reactors was hit, not a reactor himself.

“All the safety systems of the six reactors at the plant were not affected at all and there was no release of radioactive material,” he said.

“However, as you can imagine, we have been told by the operator and the regulator that the situation understandably continues to be extremely tense and difficult.”

Earlier this week, Mr Grossi had already warned that the IAEA was “gravely concerned” about Russian forces carrying out military operations in such close proximity.

“It is of crucial importance that the armed conflict and activities on the ground around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and any other Ukrainian nuclear facility do not in any way interrupt or endanger the facilities or the people there. work and around them,” he said.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-04 22:01:22

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