A Russian missile strike hit a facility near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Monday, damaging its reactors but damaging other industrial equipment in what the country’s nuclear power operator said was an act of “nuclear terrorism”.
Energoatom, which operates Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, said the strike early Monday affected an industrial complex that includes the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in the southern Mykolaiv region.
Energoatom said the missile hit just 300 meters (yards) from the plant, causing an explosion that shattered more than 100 windows in the complex’s buildings.
The attack also temporarily shut down a nearby hydroelectric plant but did not affect the reactors at the nuclear plant, Energoatom said, calling the strike an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
The Russian Defense Ministry had no immediate comment on the attack.
The Pivdennoukrainsk power plant, also known as the Southern Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, is located along the Southern Bug River and is about 300 kilometers (190 mi) south of the capital, Kyiv. It is the second largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine with three reactors.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, has been occupied by Russian forces since the early days of the invasion and has repeatedly come under fire that cut its transmission lines and eventually forced operators to shut down -la to avoid a radiation disaster. Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for the bombings.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, which has monitors at the Zaporizhzhia plant, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the attack.