New fires broke out in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces, Ukrainian officials said, calling for “militarization” of the area under UN auspices.
“Significant fires broke out in the exclusion zone, which could have very serious consequences,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verschuk wrote in her telegram account on Sunday evening.
“However, it is now impossible to fully control and extinguish the fire as occupied Russian forces occupy the exemption zone,” she added.
“Therefore, we demand that the UN Security Council take immediate action to demilitarize the Chernobyl Exemption Zone,” the official said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday that there was no change in the security situation at Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. She predicted last week that wildfires around Chernobyl would not pose a major radiological risk.
IAEA has stopped receiving live data from Chernobyl since March 9. She was concerned Sunday about the lack of staff turnover at the plant since March 20.
The plant was captured by the Russian military on February 24, the first day of the attack.
Reactor No. 4 of the plant exploded in 1986, causing the worst civilian nuclear disaster in history. It is covered with double sarcophagus, one built by the Soviets and now damaged, the other, more modern, launched in 2019.
The other three reactors at the plant were gradually shut down after the last disaster in 2000.