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Ukraine LIVE: UN warns of ‘playing with fire’ as explosions rip through nuclear power plan

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Powerful explosions shook the Zaporizhzhia region, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, on Sunday morning, the global nuclear watchdog said in a statement. The International Atomic Energy Agency is now calling for “urgent measures to help prevent a nuclear accident” in the Russian-occupied facility, of which it said parts were damaged but showed no signs of a radiation leak.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA director general, said two explosions — one on Saturday evening and another on Sunday morning — near the power plant abruptly ended a period of relative if fragile calm around the nuclear facility. He added: “Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!”

Russia’s occupation of the plant early on in the invasion and the subsequent stationing of military personnel has raised fears of a Chernobyl-esque disaster. Reports from inside the nuclear power plant suggest the occupying military had placed live ammunition in rooms used for storing highly flammable hydrogen, which is also used for cooling the core.

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