The head of the United Nations' (UN) atomic watchdog said there has been no release of radioactive material at the Ukrainian nuclear plant that was attacked by Russian forces, PA Media reports.
The news arrives shortly after it was confirmed that a fire which broke out at Europe's largest nuclear power plant on Friday (4 March) morning had been extinguished by emergency services.
A CCTV camera at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was live-streaming the assault on YouTube for several hours.
Ukrainian State Emergency Services confirmed that the blaze at the facility had occurred 350 miles south of Kyiv.
According to the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) 'the military forces of the Russian Federation committed shelling the Zaporizhzhia NPP site, as a result of which a fire broke out on the ZNPP site'.
They explained that current information 'on the dead and injured is absent' after the fire was eventually extinguished by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service units.
Prior to this, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russians were attacking the facility from 'all sides'.
ABC News reported that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power is far more technologically advanced compared to Chernobyl and the fallout will be far greater if the attacks continue.
A government official, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, said there have already been 'elevated levels of radiation' detected near the site since the assault began.
However, Ukraine's regulator told the IAEA here has been 'no change' reported in radiation levels at the site, according to Sky News.
The SNRIU also noted that 'changes in the radiation situation' had not been registered, with the latest update from the UN's atomic watchdog head appearing to support this news.
But concern over the situation continues to dominate discussions, with the SNRIU adding: "Currently, the cool down of nuclear fuel at Zaporizhzhia NPP power units is ensured by the design systems of power units in accordance with the requirements of the process procedures for safe operation.
Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Fire has already broke out. If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 4, 2022
"The loss of the possibility to cool down nuclear fuel will lead to significant radioactive releases into the environment."
They warned: "As a result, such an event may exceed all previous accidents at nuclear power plants, including the Chornobyl accident and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
"It shall be reminded that in addition to six power units at the Zaporizhzhya NPP site, there is a spent nuclear fuel storage facility, damage of which due to shelling will also lead to radioactive releases."
Earlier today (4 March), Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of unleashing 'nuclear terror' after his forces attacked the plant, even claiming that the Russian President wanted to repeat the Chernobyl disaster, which many consider to be the worst nuclear disaster in history.
"You know the word Chernobyl," he said. "No country other than Russia has ever fired on nuclear power units. This is the first time in our history. In the history of mankind.
"The terrorist state now resorted to nuclear terror."
Zelenskyy added: "Europe needs to wake up. The biggest nuclear power plant in Europe is on fire right now.
"Russian tanks are shooting at the nuclear blocks. These are tanks equipped with thermal imagers, so they know what they are aiming at."
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