Explosions rock area of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: IAEA

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FILE - This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces, in Ukraine on Aug. 28, 2022. Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant , built during the Soviet era and one of the 10 biggest in the world, has been engulfed by fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops in recent weeks, fueling concerns of a nuclear catastrophe. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

 Powerful explosions shook the area of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said, amid escalating conflicts between Ukraine and Russia.

More than a dozen blasts were heard on Sunday close to the Zaporizhzhia NPP and at the site of the plant, the IAEA said in a statement.

The IAEA, which cited the plant’s management, said that some buildings, systems and equipment were damaged at the Zaporizhzhia NPP site, but none so far are critical for nuclear safety and security.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi urged Russia and Ukraine to implement a nuclear safety and security zone around the Zaporizhzhia NPP as soon as possible.

The Zaporizhzhia NPP, one of the largest nuclear power plants in Europe, has been under the control of Russian forces since March.

In recent months, the plant has been attacked by shelling, with Russia and Ukraine accusing each other of the attacks.

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