Mr. Biden’s vitality secretary, Jennifer M. Granholm, said on Twitter that america had not detected elevated radiation readings within the space, echoing an earlier evaluation by the Worldwide Atomic Power Company. “The plant’s reactors are protected by strong containment buildings and reactors are being safely shut down,” she mentioned.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain mentioned he would search an emergency assembly of the United Nations Safety Council in regards to the blaze on the advanced, in response to his workplace.

Earlier than the fireplace was reported by Ukraine’s international minister, Dmytro Kuleba, the director basic for the Worldwide Atomic Power Company said in a statement that “numerous Russian tanks and infantry” had entered Enerhodar, a city subsequent to the plant. The director basic, Rafael Mariano Grossi, mentioned that troops have been “shifting immediately” towards the reactor web site.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear advanced, on the Dnieper River roughly 100 miles north of Crimea, is the biggest in Europe. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, its six reactors produce a complete of 6,000 megawatts of electrical energy.

As compared, the Chernobyl plant in northern Ukraine produced 3,800 megawatts — a couple of third much less. (A megawatt, a million watts, is sufficient energy to gentle 10,000 hundred-watt bulbs.) The 4 reactors of the Chernobyl advanced have been shut down after one suffered a catastrophic hearth and meltdown in 1986.

The reactors’ cores are filled with extremely radioactive gas. However a further hazard on the Zaporizhzhia web site is the various acres of open swimming pools of water behind the advanced the place spent gas rods have been cooled for years. Experts fear that errant shells or missiles that hit such websites might set off radiological disasters.

For days, social media reports have detailed how the residents of Enerhodar arrange an enormous barrier of tires, automobiles and steel barricades to attempt to block a Russian advance into town and the reactor web site. Christoph Koettl, a visible investigator for The New York Occasions, noted on Twitter that the barricades have been so giant that they could possibly be seen from outer space by orbiting satellites.

Beginning this previous Sunday, three days into the invasion, Ukraine’s nuclear regulator began reporting an uncommon fee of disconnection: Six of the nation’s 15 reactors have been offline. On Tuesday, the Zaporizhzhia facility was the positioning with essentially the most reactors offline.

John Yoon, Marc Santora and Nathan Willis contributed reporting.


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