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Ukraine has accused Russia of blowing up a huge dam that supplies water to Crimea and the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

This morning there was a disaster at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

Ukraine claims that the dam was blown up by Russian troops. “The Kakhovskaya HPP is completely destroyed, it is impossible to restore it,” Ukrhydroenergo said.

“The authorities” of the Russian-controlled territories in Kherson Region say the cause was blows by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Some Russian speakers also put forward an “alternative” version that the dam collapsed without blows, but as a result of earlier damage.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have announced the evacuation of coastal areas on the right bank of the Dnieper, which has already started to flood. Due to the destruction of the Kakhovka hydropower plant, there is a threat of flooding of 80 settlements, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said. Water is already flooding the town of Nova Kakhovka and some districts of Kherson.

The drop in the water level of the Dnipro river, which started in Zaporizhzhya Region, may have negative consequences for the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

The level of water in the reservoir used for cooling the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant has seriously dropped due to the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP dam, IAEA head Grossi said. He said a prolonged absence of water for cooling at the Zaporizhzhya plant would disrupt the operation of the emergency diesel generators.

A meeting of the IAEA board of governors has started in connection with the situation in Kherson Region.

At the same time, the British Science Media Centre urged not to worry about complications at the Zaporizhzhya NPP

“The nuclear power plant is located upstream of the Kakhovka dam, which has just been blown up, and therefore it will not be flooded. All six reactors at the power station have been shut down for more than eight months, which means that their need for cooling water will be only a fraction of what they needed when they were operating,” said Philip Thomas, professor at the University of Bristol.

He said engineers should be able to cope with the low water level in the Kakhovka reservoir and there was no need to worry about the safety of the nuclear power plant.

Also due to the destruction of the Kakhovka hydro-electric power plant, 150 tonnes of machine oil leaked into the Dnipro River, there is a risk of further leakage of up to 300 tonnes, the Ukrainian presidential office said. Volodymyr Zelenskiy has already held a meeting of the National Security Council following the disaster.

The UN also reacted to the events.

Ukraine has initiated a UN Security Council meeting over the disaster at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

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