Zelenskyy warns of ‘radiation catastrophe’ ahead of IAEA report

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of a near “radiation catastrophe” as a fire forced the shutdown of the last working reactor at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, hours before the UN’s atomic watchdog was due to brief the Security Council on its assessment of the situation at the site.

Ukraine and Russia have each accused the other of risking disaster by shelling near the plant, which was seized by Russian troops soon after they began their invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“Power unit (reactor) No. 6 was unloaded and disconnected from the grid” because of a fire that was “triggered because of shelling” that disrupted power lines, state-run company Energoatom said in a statement on Monday.

The reactor was the last of Zaporizhzhia’s six reactors still in operation, after shelling disconnected reactor number 5 on Saturday, according to a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).