Russian forces are storing at least 14 armored vehicles, along with other weapons and ammunition, in the main turbine hall of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear power operator Enerhoatom said in a Telegram post on July 21.
“A whole arsenal of heavy military equipment, along with ammunition, is currently near to critical machines, which service the generator,” Enerhoatom said.
“In particular, (weapons) are right next to a light oil tank, which cools the steam turbine. There’s also flammable hydrogen, which is also used in the cooling process.”
Russian vehicles are blocking critical access to one of the reactors: fire trucks and other specialized maintenance vehicles can’t get to it. The situation is major fire hazard.
“If, for example, some ammunition accidentally detonates, the result could be as dire as the Chornobyl disaster,” the message said.
Mayor of nearby Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, earlier said that some sort of an incident at the NPP led to Russian casualties.
Zaporizhzhia NPP – the largest nuclear facility in Europe – was captured by Russian troops on March 4. Several buildings were damaged, and the employees effectively became hostages.
The power plant resumed operations by late April, although Moscow continues its attempts to seize full operational control of the facility, brining in their own specialists to work there.