Zaporizhzihia Nuclear Power Station, Ukraine’s largest and one of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Europe, is under siege from Russian forces engaged in combat with Ukrainian forces.
Reporting from Fox News, Bret Baier suggests that Russian forces have repeatedly shelled the plant throughout Thursday evening.
According to a statement by Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Dmytro Kuleba, “fire has already broke out.”
He added: “If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chernobyl (sic)! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!”
While the prospect of a burning nuclear reactor may indeed be a pressing concern, nuclear specialists familiar with the Zaporizhzihia station say that the reactor can be shut down "nearly instantly" in the event of an emergency, preventing the sort of disaster experienced by the Chernobyl reactor.
The reactors at the power station are also built to be capable of withstanding explosive impacts. However damage to the plant could still cause radiation to leak out.
Nuclear expert Andrew Follett also informed Rebel News that the plant cannot "physically explode" like the Chernobyl plant.
Footage of the firefight is currently being broadcast live on YouTube as a security camera set up in front of the power plant remains online.
Fox News reported:
The plant is larger than its more famous counterpart in Chernobyl, containing six nuclear blocks compared to Chernobyl's one. It was reported that some of the shelling hit one of the plant's energy block's, with firefights having a difficult time fighting the blaze because of the ongoing attack.
Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi called the situation at the plant "critical" and implored military units to avoid combat in the area.
“The IAEA continues to consult with Ukraine and others with a view to provide maximum possible assistance to the country as it seeks to maintain nuclear safety and security in the current difficult circumstances,” Grossi said in a statement.