The Russian occupation authorities at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya NPP said on Sunday that administrative buildings inside the complex were damaged as a result of an attack by Ukrainian forces.

Zaporozhye – Europe’s largest nuclear power complex, which was occupied by Russia at the beginning of its offensive – has become the scene of military strikes in recent days, which damaged several structures, forcing the shutdown of the reactor.

While Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the attacks, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned on Saturday of the “very real risk of a nuclear catastrophe”.

On Sunday, the Russian occupation authorities in the city of Energodar, where the plant is located, said that during the night “the Ukrainian army struck with a cluster bomb from the reactive salvo system “Hurricane”.

The shells fell within 400 meters of the operating reactor,” the Russian state agency TASS quoted them as saying.

As a result of the strike, some administrative buildings were damaged and it fell into the “spent nuclear fuel storage area”. The information could not be independently verified.

READ ALSO: War in Ukraine: Zaporozhye NPP “seriously damaged” as a result of Russian strikes

Russian troops occupied the factory in Zaporozhye from the first days of their offensive, and Kyiv accused them of storing heavy weapons there.

Moscow accused Ukrainian forces of striking the plant.

The Ukrainian operator of the nuclear power plant “Energaatom” said on Saturday that the strikes on Friday “created a serious danger to the safe operation of the nuclear power plant.”

“In the near future, all this can lead to a nuclear and radiation disaster, the consequences of which will be felt not only by Ukraine, but also by the whole of Europe,” the statement reads.

As a result of the strikes, an electric cable was damaged, one of the reactors was suspended, and the nitrogen-oxygen station, as well as an auxiliary building, were “seriously damaged,” Energoatom reported.

© Agence France-Presse

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