China 'concerned' by shelling of Ukraine atomic plant - RTHK
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China 'concerned' by shelling of Ukraine atomic plant

2022-08-12 HKT 11:13
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  • Ambassador Zhang Jun stressed that if a large-scale accident occurs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant the consequence would be devastating. File photo: AFP
    Ambassador Zhang Jun stressed that if a large-scale accident occurs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant the consequence would be devastating. File photo: AFP
At a meeting of the UN Security Council, China and the United States have both called for UN experts to be allowed urgently to visit the nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine.

China's ambassador, Zhang Jun said Beijing is "deeply concerned" by the recent shelling on the nuclear plant.

Zhang called on all parties at the UN Security Council briefing to "exercise restraint, act with caution, refrain from any action that may compromise nuclear safety and security, and spare no effort to minimise the possibility of accidents".

He said while the shelling did not pose an immediate threat to nuclear safety, it did cause damage to the physical integrity of the plant, its safety and power supply. Mr Zhang added safety at the nuclear plant should be a priority.

"The Ukraine crisis has been dragging on for over five months. The security risks to nuclear facilities are looming large. Only by defusing the situation and restoring peace can we fundamentally remove nuclear risks, reduce misjudgement and avoid accidents," Zhang said.

The ambassador stressed that if a large-scale accident occurs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, one of the largest in Europe, the consequence would be more devastating than that of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

He said the leakage of massive quantities of radioactive materials caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the nuclear-contaminated water have far-reaching consequences for the marine environment, food safety, and human health. China, he added, does not want to see the same risks playing out again.

The US representative at the Security Council, meanwhile, called for the creation of a demilitarised zone around the plant. (Additional reporting by Xinhua)