Newsdeck

DISASTER RESPONSE

Ukraine carries out emergency drills near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

A still image provided by the Russian Defence Ministry's press service of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Enerhodar, southeastern Ukraine, 7 August 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Russian Emergencies Ministry Handout)

Ukrainian authorities performed disaster response drills on Wednesday following repeated shelling at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest of its kind in Europe.

Both sides accuse the other of attacks in the vicinity of the facility in recent days and engaging in what they call “nuclear terrorism”.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who wants a demilitarised zone to be established around the plant to avoid a potential catastrophe, will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday for talks.

As part of the emergency drills, Ukrainian first responders donned full protective gear and then dealt with a man pretending to be a victim. After the team carried out a radiation scan, they laid the patient on a stretcher, covered him in shiny silver film and then put him into an ambulance.

The first responders were themselves then checked for radiation before being hosed down and disposing of their gear. The drills will be repeated in the coming days, authorities said.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said his government was very concerned about the safety of the plant in Enerhodar in the southeast of the country.

“That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’ve created this group,” Halushchenko told reporters.

Ukraine and Russia have said they want International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to visit the plant. The agency’s chief, Rafael Grossi, has said he is ready to lead a mission.

“They need to give some technical estimation on what is happening because we just don’t have concrete information on what is happening inside,” Halushchenko said.

The plant is still run by Ukrainian technicians even though Russian forces captured it in March during the early stages of its invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow calls its invasion an operation to demilitarise its neighbour and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and its allies accuse Russia of waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

(Reporting by Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey.)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options