Like six Lego blocks, the reactors of the Enerhodar nuclear power plant lie like pearls on a string, along with a distinctive cooling tower with a trapeze.
Missiles hit the nuclear power plant
Residents of Nikopol, only four kilometers on the west bank of the Dnipro River, are accustomed to seeing.
It was the former Soviet Union that built the largest nuclear power plant in Europe since the 1980s.
In recent weeks, Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of attacking the plant, most recently on Thursday this week, hitting five missiles near a store of radioactive materials inside the nuclear power plant area.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that damage to the power plant could have “serious consequences”. It demands the parties to stop military action immediately, and proposes the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the area.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said many of the measuring instruments that monitor radiation inside the facility have been turned off.
In order to be as well prepared as possible, we have equipped ourselves with our Geiger scale and dosimeter that measures the radiation we are constantly exposed to.
However, citizens are much more afraid of Russian shells and grenades than they are about radiation.
At least 20 civilians were killed and 40 injured
Because only in the last month the war seriously affected Nikopol. Then the Russian artillery forces moved to the other side of the river bank.
Since then, missiles have rained down the area. Last month, 550 homes were damaged, at least 20 civilians were killed and more than 40 were injured.
Yesterday, Russian Grad missiles smashed into the apartment of Valery Novodvorsky’s son.
– It was a blast so powerful that it was a miracle, Valerige told TV 2.
Valerige shows where the neighbor’s wall was before it collapsed. Now it’s just a big hole. Then he points outward toward the stone pile on the other side. There was a kitchen, toilet and bathroom. Now there is nothing left.
– His legs were injured and he was seriously injured. They sent him for an x-ray, but I don’t know how he’s doing.
I received a phone call: – Your apartment has been bombed
The neighbor, two floors below, is in the process of saving what can be saved from the apartment. He says he and his family were on vacation when the phone suddenly rang in the middle of the night.
– They said the apartment was bombed. I got a day off from work to clean up. I hope we can get help from the authorities.
The words stop and the man buries his face in his shirt.
– He says: Perhaps the angel was protecting us, choking his tears while wiping his tears.
lost her husband
During two hours in the city, TV2 watched a dozen apartments with holes in the walls and ceilings – all the damage faced the river bank, controlled by Russian troops.
On the ground outside one of the apartment buildings we see the remnants of what looks like a Grad missile.
For Lyudmila Shishkina’s husband (74 years old), the attack ended a few days ago in tragedy.
– The missile hit him directly, she said. She hit his bed and tore his legs.
The five-storey building was built in the 1970s during the Soviet era. We go up the stairs covered with broken glass and plaster. The apartment of Lyudmila and her husband was on the top floor.
Now the walls and ceiling of their house are flying off. We can see directly above the nuclear power plant four kilometers away.
– He did not drink, did not smoke and was always kind to children, desperate for Lyudmila.
– Oh my heart! Isn’t it true that no one was like him? She tells the neighbors. They wonder if the funeral took place.
– No, it’s three in the evening today, says Lyudmila.
Fear of another Chernobyl disaster
But the war surrounding the nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, could in the worst case lead to the worst radiological disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Russia took control of the power plant early in the invasion. Ukrainian employees are still responsible for the operation. The International Atomic Energy Agency has warned that workers are working in difficult and stressful conditions.
According to the head of the Ukrainian State Nuclear Energy Agency Energoatom, Petro Kotin, Russia’s plan is to connect the nuclear power plant to the Russian power grid.
It is technically a difficult process, he told Reuters news agency:
– Their plan is to destroy all lines from the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. After that, the power plant will not be connected to the Ukrainian electricity grid.
This makes Cotten worried about winter. He says it is necessary to get the Russians out, so that the infrastructure can be rebuilt. The power plant provided about 20 percent of Ukraine’s energy needs before the war.
Russia is accused of using the nuclear power plant as a “shield”.
– Of course, the Ukrainians could not respond without a terrible accident at the nuclear power plant, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
For Valerij Novodvorskyis and other residents of Nikopol, it is just a matter of maintaining courage.
– We just have to stick to it. There is no other way. What can we do? If we lose our hearts, there will be no life anymore.
He says bitterly as long as we live, we will fight.
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