A Ukrainian nuclear plant under threat

A Ukrainian nuclear plant under threat
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The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon at the request of Russia to discuss the fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine and the specter of a nuclear accident.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for attacks in and around the Zaporizhzhia complex, Europe’s largest nuclear plant, including recent shelling that fell dangerously close to the reactors. The Russian military took control of the site in March, but Ukrainian technicians still operate the plant under the eyes of Russian snipers.

Hours before the U.N. meeting was to start, Ukrainian military intelligence said Russia had been shelling ash pits near the plant, raising clouds of toxic dust and causing radiation levels in the area to rise. It did not offer details on how much the levels had spiked, or whether the dust presented a health threat.

What’s next: The International Atomic Energy Agency issued a statement cataloging damage Ukraine has reported to the agency, saying it demonstrated the urgent need for inspectors to visit. Its director general said a visit could take place “within the next few days” if negotiations succeeded.

Context: Survivors of the Chernobyl disaster have been following the news of the Zaporizhzhia fighting with dread.

Up ahead: U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Russia could redouble attacks today to coincide with Ukraine’s Independence Day, which also marks six months since the invasion began.

Source: The New York Times

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