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Boris urges further security of Ukraine’s nuclear sites amid Putin’s ‘radiation blackmail’

Ukraine: Nuclear incident is 'imminent' says plant worker

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The news follows a renewed appeal from the United Nations for military restraint around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant which has been occupied by Russian forces. Multiple strikes have occurred in the region sparking serious concerns while Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the attacks.

President Putin has granted permission to officials from the UN to visit and inspect the nuclear site.

It comes after Rafael Mariano Grossi, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) renewed calls to increase security at the largest nuclear facility in Europe.

The Director General warned that further attacks or an escalation in the region of the six-reactor nuclear site could cause a severe nuclear accident with detrimental repercussions for Ukraine and elsewhere.

Officials from the IAEA are needed to carry out vital safety, security and safeguarding tasks at the plant after strikes have caused damage to various areas of the site.

Director General Grossi said: “In this highly volatile and fragile situation, it is of vital importance that no new action is taken that could further endanger the safety and security of one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants.

“There is an urgent need to lower the tension and take the necessary steps to help ensure nuclear safety and security and prevent any radiological consequences for the population and the environment.

The IAEA can play an indispensable role in this regard.”

According to the PM’s office, Mr Johnson has now joined the leaders from France, Germany and the United States in “stressing the importance” of the safety of the sites in Ukraine.

A spokesperson from Downing Street said: “On a joint call, the Prime Minister, President Biden, President Macron and Chancellor Scholz underlined their steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion.

“They stressed the importance of ensuring the safety and security of nuclear installations and welcomed recent discussions on enabling an IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia facility.”

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According to Ukrainian officials, Russian forces have turned the facility into an army base with approximately 500 troops using the site as protection while they attack towns in the region knowing that Ukraine will not retaliate.

Both Russia and Ukraine noted the importance of the ensured security of the facility as President Zelensky accused Russia of “radiation blackmail”.

In a recent nightly address, the Ukrainian President said: “If Russian blackmail with radiation continues, this summer may go down in the history of various European countries as one of the most tragic of all time.”

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