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Ukraine's continued shelling of Zaporozhye NPP leads to disaster, says diplomat

Igor Vishnevetsky pointed out that there can be no doubt who is responsible for the shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

UN, August 13. /TASS/. Ukrainian shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant will sooner or later lead to disaster if it is not stopped, Igor Vishnevetsky, Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Igor Vishnevetsky said on Friday at the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

"We call on both Ukraine and those who have influence on the Kiev regime to do everything to make sure that these shellings stop, otherwise we will sooner or later face a disaster," he said, "Wouldn't the sense of self-preservation prevail in this case? After all, if something happens, it will be very, very serious, it will be frightening. You can talk a lot about principles, about the nuances of nuclear safety, but when you're shelling Europe's largest nuclear power plant, you're already on the edge of the limit. A little more and there could be a catastrophe."

Vishnevetsky pointed out that there can be no doubt who is responsible for the shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant: fragments of shells of NATO's 155 mm caliber were found on the bombed-out territories. "We don't even need to prove anything here. There is a gross violation of physical nuclear safety principles," he added.

"The shelling is carried out directly on the nodes which are responsible for the station’s vital activity, that is, they want to de-energize the station. The Ukrainian armed forces specifically hit there to de-energize the station. Specialists can tell how dangerous that is. This is very, very serious," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that on Thursday the units of the 44th artillery brigade of Ukraine’s armed forces shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant from the settlement of Nikopol using 152 mm guns. The strikes partially damaged the thermal power plant used for internal needs and the equipment of the splash pools of the cooling system of the nuclear reactors. The critical infrastructure of the nuclear power plant was not damaged, and the operation of the reactors was not disrupted.

The Zaporozhye NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It used to produce one quarter of all electricity in Ukraine. Its total capacity is about 6,000 Megawatts, and it includes six reactors. Right now, the power plant operates at 70% of its full capacity, due to overproduction of power in the liberated parts of the Zaporozhye Region. In the future, it is planned it will supply power to Crimea.