Radiation levels rose near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster after Russia took over the area In its invasion of Ukraine, authorities said Friday.
The State Nuclear Energy Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine said in statment.
The reason was the disturbance of the soil by “heavy military machinery” and increased air pollution across the exclusion zone, the agency said.
“The condition of the Chernobyl nuclear and other facilities remains unchanged,” the statement said.
Russian forces confirmed they had taken control of the station on Thursday but said in a statement on Friday that radiation levels were “normal” in the area, according to Interfax.
“NPP personnel continue to operate the power plant as usual and monitor radiation levels,” said Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. Interfax.
The collapse of the factory in April 1986 led to the evacuation of nearly 50,000. The site is located about 10 miles from Ukraine’s border with Russia and 80 miles north of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
“Defenders are sacrificing their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
“This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe,” He said.
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