After the Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to gain the fastest route to Kyiv, they have now shelled Europe’s largest nuclear plant, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, this Friday, putting the plant at risk as a fire broke out after a building used for training was struck by a rocket or artillery round.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located in Southeast Ukraine in the city of Enerhodar near the Kakhovka reservoir in the Dnieper river. It is known to be the 9th largest nuclear power plant in the world. It has six nuclear reactors that generate 950MW each, with a total output of 5,700MW. The nuclear power plant supplies 1/5th of Ukraine’s electricity needs. Any fire breaking out at a nuclear power plant has the potential for disaster should it spread to the reactors or safety systems used to control the reactors, risking another 1986 Chernobyl disaster that would be infinitely more deadly given the size of the Zaporizhzhai facility.  The reactors at this facility are Light Water Pressurized Reactors and not the Graphic Moderated Light Water Reactor type used at Chernobyl. The Zaporizhzhai reactors have their reactor pressure vessels inside a large containment building rather the concrete vault in the ground and a cover comprised of steel blocks used in Chernobyl’s RBMK reactors

According to the nuclear plant’s spokesman Andriy Tuz, the Russian shells were directly falling onto the facility and even set fire to one of the reactors. Luckily, the reactor was said to be under renovation and was not operational. However, there was nuclear fuel inside the reactor, which the shells could have ignited.

“There is a real threat of nuclear danger at the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe. We demand that they stop the heavy weapons fire at the energy blocks of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” he said. “I repeat, stop the heavy weapons fire at the energy blocks of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” he reiterated in a video message.