Ukraine calls for “Demilitarization” of the Chernobyl Zone
New fires have broken out in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities said. They called for the “demilitarization” of the sector under the auspices of the UN, AFP reported.
“Mass fires have started in the exclusion zone, which could have very serious consequences,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk wrote in her Telegram profile on Sunday night.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday that the security situation at Ukraine's nuclear power plants remained unchanged. Last week, it said forest fires around Chernobyl did not pose a serious risk of radioactive contamination.
As of March 9, the IAEA has stopped receiving operational data from Chernobyl. It was concerned about the lack of staff rotation at the headquarters on March 20th.
The plant was captured by the Russian army on February 24, the first day of the invasion. Reactor No. 4 exploded in 1986, causing the worst civilian nuclear disaster in history. It is covered with a double sarcophagus, one built by the Soviet Union. The other three reactors at the plant were gradually shut down.
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