A Russian missile hit a radioactive-waste burial facility in Kyiv overnight, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine posted on Facebook. The organization said there is “no way to assess the scale of the destruction” at the moment but it believes there’s no immediate threat to human life caused by the radiation alone (though Kyiv obviously remains a war zone).
“As a result of the mass bombing in Kyiv, missile weapons struck a burial point of radioactive waste,” the nuclear regulatory inspectorate posted. The agency said that employees of the organization that handles Ukraine’s radiation storage “are in shelter due to ongoing mass shelling.” It added that the facility’s automated radiation monitoring system is currently broken but surveillance cameras captured the strike. “The radiation environment will be evaluated by portable devices after the shelling is completed. According to the preliminary assessment of the State Regulation, outside the sanitary and protection zone, there is no threat to the population.”
Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.
The war in Ukraine has already been damaging to the environment on top of being devastating for human life. Russian activity around the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant has elevated radioactivity levels to beyond those considered to be safe, and scientists fear that further activity in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine could disturb chemical facilities there. There remains the threat of nuclear power plants and waste sites being disturbed.
An oil depot in Vasylkiv, a city 20 miles southwest of Kyiv, is also on fire after being hit by Russian forces, according to Ukrainian politicians and Russian state media. Videos on CNN and posted to social media showed a huge billowing fire.
The extent of the damage was not immediately clear.