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March 4, 2022
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UN holds emergency meeting after Ukraine nuclear plant attack

After Russian attack, Europe's biggest nuclear power plant is on fire

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was hit by a projectile this morning (4). Ukraine claims the attack came from the Russian army. The Russians say the complex was bombed by Ukrainian saboteurs. The plant, which is the largest in Europe, had the fire controlled by firefighters. Authorities say there has been no leakage of radioactive material.UN holds emergency meeting after Ukraine nuclear plant attack

After the attack, which left the world worried about a possible nuclear accident, the United Nations Security Council decided to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

The Brazilian representative to the UN, Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, in his speech, reiterated that the world is facing frightening circumstances with the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, but also with the prospect of a nuclear incident of a significant dimension.

“It is just one more reason for the international community to reinforce the call for an immediate ceasefire and also for the suspension of all hostilities in Ukraine. We are under the threat of a major radioactive incident that could have enormous consequences not only for Ukraine, but also for the whole of Europe,” he said.

Costa Filho also criticized the council for failing to obtain concrete results and urged Russia and Ukraine to seek a peaceful resolution. “This is not the time to escalate the violence of rhetoric, but to seek peace, create an environment that leads to a ceasefire and a lasting peace,” he said.

Reactors were not hit

Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE – International Atomic Energy Agencyin English), participated virtually in the UN meeting and reinforced that the reactors were not affected.

He said that last week it was confirmed that Russian military forces had taken over the Chernobyl and that, a few days ago, the agency received information from the Russian government that military forces were approaching Zaporizhzhia. The Chernobyl plant is deactivated, but it still contains nuclear material.

“We had information that the Russians were heading towards the nuclear plant, with a mission to take control of that plant, and that groups of Ukrainian civilians were attacking the Russian military,” Grossi said.

He continued the report by saying that during the early hours of today, he was informed that a projectile hit a building adjacent to the reactor block of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. “Our contacts at the regulatory agency and also at the plant confirmed to us that no safety system was compromised, nor were the reactors affected”, he pointed out.

The director of the IEAE also stated that it is not possible to talk about normality when there are military forces in a nuclear plant. “It is important to say that the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency has nothing to do with political and diplomatic aspects that are in the realm of the [de Segurança da ONU]. Our action is restricted to the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities which are evidently, as the facts show, at constant risk of damage and accident.”

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