Two Ukrainian facilities containing nuclear waste suffered damage amid Russia’s now four-day-old invasion, international monitors reported on Sunday.
Missiles hit a radioactive waste-disposal site in Kyiv, and an electrical transformer was damaged in a similar depot in Kharkiv, according to an email from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Inspectors are still awaiting radiation measurements from local authorities to determine the extent of the damage.
“These two incidents highlight the very real risk that facilities with radioactive material will suffer damage during the conflict, with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
“I urgently and strongly appeal to all parties to refrain from any military or other action that could threaten the safety and security of these facilities.”
Ukraine is Europe’s second-biggest generator of nuclear power after France. Energoatom, the utility which runs its reactors, has continued to operate its four plants housing 15 reactors even as Russia’s military incursion unfolded. Atomic energy generates about half the country’s power.
Russia also seized the area around the shuttered Chernobyl nuclear power plant during its advance into Ukraine.
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