Radioactive waste disposal site struck by Russian munitions - report

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) said early on Sunday morning that the site was hit, but due to ongoing fighting could not assess the damage.

 Service members take part in tactical exercises, which are conducted by the Ukrainian National Guard, Armed Forces, special operations units and simulate a crisis situation in an urban settlement, in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine February 4, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)
Service members take part in tactical exercises, which are conducted by the Ukrainian National Guard, Armed Forces, special operations units and simulate a crisis situation in an urban settlement, in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine February 4, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

A radioactive waste disposal site was allegedly struck by Russian munitions, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) said on early Sunday morning.

"The automated radiation monitoring system failed," said the SNRIU statement on Facebook. "But the surveillance cameras recorded the falling missiles."

The nuclear waste site was hit at around 1:20 Kyiv time, and due to ongoing fighting, the SNRIU is unable to assess the extent on the destruction. The organization said that it will have to conduct assessments in the field with portable devices once there is a lull in combat. 

The SNRIU  noted that according to preliminary assessments, there is currently no threat from the radioactive waste impacting areas outside the site.

This is not the first nuclear scare during the Russia-Ukraine War. 

Servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in central Kyiv, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, February 25, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)Servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in central Kyiv, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, February 25, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

Ukraine said on Friday it had recorded increased radiation levels from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a day after the site was captured by Russian forces, due to military activity causing radioactive dust to rise into the air.

The former power plant was captured by Russian forces on Thursday, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said at the time. 

Experts at the agency did not provide exact radiation levels but said the change was due to the movement of heavy military equipment in the area lifting radioactive dust into the air.

Russia had captured the area earlier and had said the levels were normal and had sent paratroopers to guard the plant.

"Radiation starts to increase. It is not critical for Kyiv for the time being, but we are monitoring," the interior ministry said.

The still-radioactive site of the 1986 nuclear disaster lies some 100 kilometers from Kyiv.

The Chernobyl nuclear reactor is the site of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

Aaron Reich contributed to this report.