(CMR) A fire broke out at Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant following an attack by Russian troops early Friday. Nuclear reactors at the location have not been affected; however, the plant is being monitored, Ukraine officials reported.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine had not sustained any critical damage in the attack, Andrii Tuz, a spokesman for the plant, told CNN on Friday. He said firefighters initially arrived they were blocked by Russian troops.
According to CNN, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Ukraine's regulator had told the organization there had been no change in reported radiation levels and that the fire had had not affected “essential” equipment.
Attention has focused on the safety of Ukraine's nuclear power facilities as Russia's invasion of the country intensifies. The prospect of the fire causing damage at the nuclear plant has alarmed experts, though they cautioned that it was too early to gauge the full impact.
Graham Allison, Professor at Belfer Center, Harvard University, told Anderson Cooper early Friday that “facts are unfolding” but “not all fires in a power plant have catastrophic consequences.”
Ukrainian officials called on Russian troops to cease fighting after reports the plant had been attacked emerged Friday morning.
The Zaporizhzhia plant contains six of the country's 15 nuclear energy reactors, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Matthew Bunn, a James R. Schlesinger Professor of the Practice of Energy, National Security, and Foreign Policy, told CNN, “It's not by any means the worst-case scenario. Right now, the main dangers to the Ukrainian people are bullets, bombs, and shells, not radiation.”