As Russia targets Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the Head of the The United Nations Nuclear Watchdog has stressed the It is important to protect the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, to prevent a nuclear disaster.

“Until we have this plant protected, the possibility of the nuclear catastrophe is there,” Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency stated in an interview with CBS News aired on Sunday.

Russia’s invasion has endangered Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities, which rely on external power to cool their reactors. At ZaporizhzhiaThese power lines have been repeatedly destroyed. the fighting, forcing operators of the Plant to occasionally turn to diesel generators to run the Cooling systems. Grossi stated that diesel generators were unsustainable because of the frequency with which external power is lost.

“You don’t want the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe, one of the biggest in the world, to be cooled with — basically an emergency system which is dependent on fuel,” He stated. “Because when your generators are out of whatever you put in it to make them work, then what happens? Then you have a meltdown. Then you have a big radiological nuclear emergency or an accident, and this is what we are trying to prevent.”

In October, Mr. Grossi sat down with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine hopes to convince both sides to create a demilitarized zone. Zaporizhzhia. He called. for Similar actions since leading a group of Inspectors the facility in August. There has not been an agreement.

In one week last week of the The largest and most widespread attacks since the Start of the War in February: Russia launched more than 100 missiles against Ukraine in a single day. of They were destroyed by Ukrainian forces. The The key infrastructure for energy was at the mercy of rest and plummeted nearly 25% of the country into darkness. Ukraine has warned Russia that Russia will not be slow in its attacks against infrastructure. for Ukrainians should stay warm as winter draws near.

Before the A large percentage of nuclear plants were used in war and supplying a large amount of Ukraine’s power. In the Russia has intensified its attack on Ukrainian nuclear facilities over the past month, with the aim of destroying them. the Khmelnytskyi Plant in west Ukraine and forcing them to switch to diesel generators for Several hours. In operation: A second nuclear power plant the Provinces nearby of Rivne had to cut back the It produced energy after the power lines were destroyed.

At the Zaporizhzhia Power plant the Since September, all reactors have been turned off as a safety precaution. Although a military strike directly on one was not possible, of the Reactor cores could still cause an accident the If you can reduce your risk, it is a great way to lower your risk. the Plant is not operational.

Nearly a dozen shells were exploded the Zaporizhzhia plant on Sunday, Russian and Ukrainian nuclear energy officials blamed each other’s military forces for the attack.

Mr. Grossi had been to inspect the Zaporizhzhia Plant in August, and observe large holes the Rooftop of Storage facility for nuclear fuel. The At the electrical switchyard the He also said that plant had been shelled, which suggested that Russia had tried to cut off the plant’s access to electricity. Workers the Russian soldiers also held facility hostage.

Grossi expressed hope that both sides would prevent any attacks that could be considered dangerous. the plant.

“A demand for protection of the plant is very important,” Mr. Grossi said. “You don’t shell a nuclear power plant. You don’t storm a nuclear power plant.”