A “security protection zone” is needed around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia power station, according to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

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U.N. nuclear watchdog calls for a security protection zone by Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia power plants in  Ukraine earlier today.

The UN nuclear inspector declared that “the situation in Ukraine is exceptional.” It stated in a report that “it is the first time a military combat has taken place amid the infrastructure of a large, established nuclear power” program.

The IAEA stated that “it is prepared to begin discussions right now that will lead to the prompt creation of such a nuclear safety and security protection zone” at the site. The dire warning from the Vienna-based organization that is not given to hyperbole came just 24 hours after the Ukrainian energy company that runs the Zaporizhzhia complex reported that the last line connecting the power plant to the Ukrainian electrical grid was disconnected after days of “intensive shelling.”

German Galushchenko, the energy minister for Ukraine, had said on Facebook that “the world is once again on the verge of a nuclear tragedy.” When Ukraine was still a part of the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the Zaporizhzhia plant in the town of Enerhodar in the southeast of the country went online and provided up to 20% of the country’s power after independence. More power is produced by its six reactors than by any similar facility in the US.