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Russia Steals Dangerous Nuclear Chemicals After Destroying Lab At Chernobyl

Russia Steals Dangerous Nuclear Chemicals After Destroying Lab At Chernobyl

Ukrainian officials are worried their enemy could use the looted materials on the rest of the world.

Rachel Lang

Rachel Lang

Russian soldiers have looted and destroyed a laboratory at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant with dangerous nuclear samples now 'in the hands of the enemy', Ukrainian officials have said.

The State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management revealed Russian soldiers have stormed a laboratory within the exclusion zone, which was part of a European Union-funded program to improve the management of radioactive waste and materials by analysing samples on-site.

Some of those highly volatile samples are now missing, with the Ukrainian agency releasing a statement to say they hope the Kremlin does not use these materials against the rest of the world.

The lab housed 'highly active samples and samples of radionuclides that are now in the hands of the enemy, which we hope will harm itself and not the civilized world', according to that agency.

The laboratory was opened in 2015 with support from the European Commission, costing £5 million (AUD$8.8 million).

But that is not the only worrying development coming from the exclusion zone, with Ukraine's nuclear regulatory agency revealing that radiation monitors around the plant had stopped working on March 21.

In the statement shared by Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom, it revealed there was no data on 'the current state of radiation pollution in the Exclusion Zone, which makes it impossible to adequately respond to threats of deterioration of radiation situations in the Exclusion Zone'.

The news comes shortly after Russian forces released some of the workers that were being kept hostage on-site to run the plant.

After working around the clock for 600 hours, 64 people have now been allowed to leave, the agency confirmed in a Facebook post.

They've been replaced by 46 'employee-volunteers'.

There has been growing concern among experts about the safety of Chernobyl and the rest of the nuclear sites in Ukraine.

There is still a heightened risk that they could be attacked in such a way that causes untold damage, including damage outside of Ukraine.

In the city of Sumy, an ammonia leak at a chemical plant has led to contamination of an area within 2.5 kilometres around the site, according to officials.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: ITAR-TASS News Agenc/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Ukraine, Chernobyl, Russia