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Employees at Ukraine nuclear power plant working at gunpoint

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Posted at 7:00 AM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 09:05:40-05

According to CNN, Russian troops have taken Ukraine's largest nuclear power facility, where a fire that had threatened disaster was extinguished in the early hours of Friday morning.

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate (SNRI) acknowledged the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility in southeastern Ukraine was captured by Russian armed forces in a statement released Friday morning, but claimed inspectors were in communication with plant management.

The six reactors at the power facility are still operational, although auxiliary facilities at one reactor had been damaged. According to the statement obtained by CNN, four of the remaining units are being cooled and one is generating power.

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Ukraine’s nuclear power operator, Energoatom, said the “administrative building and the checkpoint at the station are under occupiers’ control.” It said staff are working on the power units to ensure their stable operation.

“Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded among the Ukrainian defenders of the station,” Energoatom added in a statement posted to Telegram, according to CNN.

Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, later said that management at the plant were working at “gunpoint.” He added that Russian forces “entered the territory of the nuclear power plant, took control of the personnel and management of the nuclear power plant.”

Kotin warned that although the reactors are safe, further attacks could lead to “disaster.”