The United States has accused Russia of violating nuclear safety principles in Ukraine and demanded its invading forces stop firing on nuclear power plants.
- The US says it is concerned by the lack of safeguard monitor data from Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia
- The two Ukrainian nuclear power plants are under Russian control
- They are being operated in conditions the International Atomic Energy Agency says endanger the safety of the facilities
But the US added that there were no signs detected yet of any radiological release in the country.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a Twitter post that radiation monitors in much of Ukraine were still functioning, although the US was concerned by lack of data from safeguards monitors at Chernobyl or Zaporizhzhia, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Both plants are under Russian forces’ control but are being operated by Ukrainian staff under conditions that the International Atomic Energy Agency said endangers the safety of the facilities.
“We remain concerned about Russia’s reckless actions and violations of nuclear safety principles,” Ms Granholm said.
After fighting and apparent shelling around the Zaporizhzhia plant a week ago, the Russian military accused Ukrainian forces of a “provocation.”
Ms Granholm said the US could not confirm reports that power has been restored to Chernobyl.
Russia’s energy ministry said on Thursday that Belarusian specialists had restored electricity supply to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ukraine and its allies are concerned about the risk Russia’s invasion poses to nuclear facilities across the country, including power plants and research centres.
The head of a nuclear research facility in the north-eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv said the grounds of the institute had been struck by Russian shells during recent fighting, but the core housing nuclear fuel remains intact.