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PM: ‘All of Europe’ threatened by Putin’s shelling of nuclear power station

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rime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russia’s shelling of a nuclear power station in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia could “directly threaten the safety of all of Europe”.

One of the power station’s – the largest in Europe – six reactors caught fire after it was attacked by Russia. While the reactor is under renovation, according to the power plant’s spokesman, it still contains nuclear fuel.

In an early morning phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Mr Johnson vowed to seek an emergency UN Security Council meeting in a bid for a ceasefire.

Downing Street called the situation in Zaporizhzhia “gravely concerning”.

In a statement sent to PA News Agency, a spokeswoman for the PM’s office said: “Both leaders agreed that Russia must immediately cease its attack on the power station and allow unfettered access for emergency services to the plant.

“The Prime Minister said the reckless actions of President Putin could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe. He said the UK would do everything it could to ensure the situation did not deteriorate further.

“The Prime Minister said he would be seeking an emergency UN Security Council meeting in the coming hours, and that the UK would raise this issue immediately with Russia and close partners.

“Both leaders agreed a ceasefire was crucial.”

The plant’s spokesman Andriy Tuz told Ukrainian television that shells were falling directly on the Zaporizhzhia plant and had set fire to one of the facility’s six reactors.

Firefighters could not get near the fire because they are being shot at, Mr Tuz said.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the fire has not caused a change in the plant’s radiation level. Nor had the shelling or fire caused any damage to “essential” equipment.

In a series of statements to posted to Twitter, the agency said: “Ukraine regulator tells IAEA there has been no change reported in radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant site.

“Ukraine tells IAEA that fire at site of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has not affected ‘essential’ equipment, plant personnel taking mitigatory actions.”

The agency added that its Director General Mariano Grossi was in touch with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Schmygal and the Ukrainian regulator and operator about the situation.

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