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    HomeWorldFrantic Evacuation Near Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as Ukraine Crisis Intensifies

    Frantic Evacuation Near Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as Ukraine Crisis Intensifies

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    Russia has ordered the evacuation of 18 settlements, including Enerhodar near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, amid an expected offensive by Kyiv. The evacuation is being done in anticipation of a potentially dangerous situation around the Russian-held nuclear station. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), called for measures to ensure the safe operation of Europe’s largest nuclear plant as evacuations were underway in the nearby town of Enerhodar. While the operating staff of the plant remains at the site, the conditions for the personnel and their families are “increasingly tense,” according to Grossi.

    The plant is located in the part of that region under Russian control, with many of the staff operating it living in Enerhodar on the south bank of the Dnipro River. Russia seized the Zaporizhzhia plant days after President Vladimir Putin launched the “Special Military Operation” in February 2022. Exchanges of fire have frequently occurred near the facility, with each side blaming the other.

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    The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Sunday that the residents are being evacuated toward Berdiansk and Prymorsk on the coast of the Sea of Azov but Reuters could not independently verify the reports. The IAEA chief has repeatedly warned of the dangers of military operations around the plant. Grossi last visited the Zaporizhzhia station, Europe’s largest nuclear power installation, in March, as part of efforts to speak to both sides to secure an agreement on safeguards to ensure the plant’s safe operation.

    This follows a warning from the head of the UN’s nuclear power watchdog that the situation around Zaporizhzhia has become “potentially dangerous”. The evacuation is being carried out as Russia’s actions have caused a state of “mad panic” as they carry out an evacuation of a town close to the disputed Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, BBC reported citing a Ukrainian official.

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