After reports that Europe’s largest nuclear power facility, in Ukraine, was set on fire after Russian bombardment, U.S. stock-index futures plummeted late Thursday, stoking fears of an unparalleled nuclear calamity.
Dow Jones Industrial Dow futures dropped almost 500 points after the first reports of the nuclear facility incident surfaced last night.
According to reports from the Associated Press, Russian troops shelled the nuclear power plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Enerhodar, causing a fire. The plant is said to have six reactors, three of which were shut down prior to the attack.
Later, the Ukrainian state emergency service announced on social media that the fire was in a training building and that it had been put out. Early Friday assessments by the area military agency revealed that radiation levels were “unchanged” and posed no threat to the people.
On Friday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi was scheduled to give a press conference about the status of the plant. He expressed his “great worry” over the situation at that power plant on Twitter, urging “parties to avoid from acts that could put NPPs in jeopardy.”
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 4, 2022
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm described Russia’s military operations at the plant as “reckless,” but added that “we have noticed no higher radiation readings near the site” and that the reactors are being safely shut down in a series of tweets.
I just spoke with Ukraine’s energy minister about the situation at the Zaphorizhizia nuclear plant. Russian military operations near the plant are reckless and must cease. 1/
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) March 4, 2022
Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister, Dmytro Kuleba, warned that the consequences may be worse than Chernobyl, saying, “Russians must IMMEDIATELY put out the fire, enable firemen, and establish a security zone!”