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Ukraine states that Russian troops near Chernobyl could pose a new radiation threat

(Reuters)-Ukrainian officials on Sunday accuse Russia of “irresponsible” acts that could send radiation to much of Europe around the occupied Chernobyl power plant and task the United Nations with assessing risks. Requested to be dispatched.

Deputy Prime Minister Irina Bereshchuk said Russian troops were “militizing” the exclusion zone around the station where the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred in 1986.

She said the Russian army was transporting a large amount of old, poorly maintained weapons, creating the risk of damaging the containment vessels built around the destroyed Generation IV reactor at the station. ..

And Russian troops prevented firefighters from controlling large numbers of fires in the zone.

“In the context of nuclear safety, the irresponsible and unprofessional behavior of Russian military personnel poses a very serious threat to hundreds of millions of Europeans, not just Ukraine,” Vereshchuk said in her telegram account. Said.

“Therefore, the UN Security Council has adopted immediate measures to demilitarize the exclusion areas around Chernobyl Station and to eliminate the risk of recurrence of the Chernobyl accident due to the actions of the Russian occupying forces. I demand that a special mission be dispatched, “she said. she said.

Damage to containment vessels built with European funds will inevitably lead to the release of significant amounts of radioactive dust and pollution into the atmosphere, not only in Ukraine but also in other European countries, Bereshchuk said. Stated.

Russia “ignores these risks” by continuing to transport weapons near train stations, she said.

Reuters could not immediately confirm Bereshchuk’s allegations on the ground. Russia had previously denied that its troops were endangering nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

A fire and explosion at Chernobyl’s fourth reactor in 1986 caused radiation to spread to the United Kingdom and Spain. Thousands of people were killed in the aftermath of the accident and the radiation it emitted.

Currently, all reactors are no longer available.

Russian troops occupied Chernobyl station on the first day of the invasion last month, preventing staff who have maintained the Chernobyl facility for some time from leaving or being expelled from other workers. I prevented it.

The mayor of Slavutych, a town created and built to accommodate factory staff in the aftermath of the 1986 accident, said earlier Monday that Russian troops who hijacked the town on the weekends have now left.

Yuri Fomichev left in an online video post saying the army “completed the work they were trying to do.” He initially said three people were killed in the clash. [L2N2VV04H]

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that it was closely monitoring the situation and expressed concern about the ability of staff to enter and exit the station.

(Written by Ron Popeski, edited by Daniel Wallis and Michael Perry)

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