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Fire breaks out at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid shelling

A fire has broken out at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said early Friday morning, following shelling by Russian forces.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) tweeted that Ukraine's nuclear regulator said there is "no change reported in radiation levels" at the site. The Associated Press reports that a spokesman for Zaporizhzhia told Ukrainian media that shells falling on the facility started a fire at one of its six reactors. He said the reactor is being renovated and is not operating, but does contain nuclear fuel.

Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear plant in Europe, and Kuleba warned in a tweet that "if it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chernobyl!! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!"

The plant is in southeastern Ukraine, near the city of Enerhodar. The mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, posted on Facebook that the fire started "as a result of relentless shelling" by Russians, adding, "there are victims, but the exact number and condition so far cannot be determined under the circumstances."

The White House said it is monitoring the situation and President Biden has called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the matter.