The United States (US) Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the reactors at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station “are protected by robust containment structures and reactors are being safely shut down”.
Granholm said on Twitter she had just spoken with Ukraine’s energy minister about the situation at the plant, where a fire broke out during fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
“We have seen no elevated radiation readings near the facility,” Granholm said.
A fire broke out in a training building outside the largest nuclear power plant in Europe during intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, Ukraine’s state emergency service said on Friday.
— Андрей?????? (@AndrewCryptov) March 4, 2022
Radiation security had been secured, the plant’s director told Ukraine 24 TV.
A video feed from the plant southeast of the capital Kyiv appeared to show smoke and flames coming from an unidentified building.
Reuters could not immediately verify the information, including the potential seriousness of any fire.
There has been fierce fighting in the area about 550 kilometres (km) southeast of Kyiv, the mayor of the nearby town of Energodar said in an online post.
Early reports of the incident at the power plant sent financial markets in Asia spiralling, with stocks tumbling and oil prices surging further.
Russia has already captured the defunct Chernobyl plant, some 100 km north of Kyiv, which spewed radioactive waste overmuch of Europe when it melted down in the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.