Drone strikes hit Russia-controlled nuclear power plant in Ukraine

By Louise Guillot | 04/08/2024 06:55 AM EDT

“This is a major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers,” said the U.N. atomic chief.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine was targeted in drone attacks, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Sunday.

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) present at the power station — which has been under Russian occupation since March 2022 shortly after the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began — confirmed that the drones targeted one of the site’s six reactor buildings where there was surveillance and communication equipment.

The officials added that Russian troops, who were posted on the roof of one of the buildings, “engaged what appeared to be an approaching drone” and that “an explosion near the reactor building” followed.


There were three direct drone hits, said Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the IAEA, adding that “although the damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, this was a serious incident that had the potential to undermine the integrity of the reactor’s containment system.”