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Former nuclear agency head: Plant attack 'designed to hurt the population very badly'

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By Euronews
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Russian shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant site. Courtesy Zaporizhzhia NPP
Russian shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant site. Courtesy Zaporizhzhia NPP   -   Copyright  Euronews

Fears of a nuclear disaster were raised after a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia powerplant as it came under sustained attack by Russian forces.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says all of the site’s reactors are stable and no radiation was released.

Robert Kelly, former director of the agency played down the threat of disaster from the attack on the plant, saying that while there may be a small risk of a serious nuclear accident, the attack on the plant is solely designed to hurt the people of Ukraine.

"The strategy here is to put the entire country into a cold, shutdown position and cause the people there to be in the dark, and be cold, and be hungry," Kelly, who is a Distinguished Associate Fellow at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told Euronews.

"If you turn off all [of Ukraine's] nuclear plants, there is 50% of the electricity in the country. This is designed to hurt the population very badly. It's to create a siege from within."

Watch the interview with Robert Kelly in the video player above.