THERE was panic last night after a blaze tore through a Ukrainian nuclear power plant reactor built in the same year as the Chernobyl nuke disaster.
Videos show the alarming inferno at Rivne power plant in the ex-Soviet republic as emergency teams battled to bring high flames and toxic black smoke under control.
As a result, the nuclear power plant had to be be shut down after it was engulfed in flames.
The overnight blaze broke out in the transformer of the third reactor unit at Rivne.
It was built the same year – 1986 – that the Chernobyl nuclear station exploded in Soviet Ukraine, say reports.
Three dozen firefighters and ten fire trucks rushed to the blaze to extinguish it after emergency procedures were set in place.
The cause of the incident is so far unknown.
Ukraine’s State Emergency Situations Service of Rivne region reported that the level of radiation remained normal in the area.
There were no casualties, it was claimed.
Petro Kratik, head of information at Rivne nuclear station, confirmed there had been a fire and said that reactor number three was shut down as a precaution.
The reasons for the fire are being investigated.
Kratic added: “According to the international scale of emergencies at nuclear stations this event level is zero.
“The radioactive and ecological situations did not change.”
Monday’s fire started at 9.07pm local time and was extinguished by 10.05pm (8.05pm BST), he said.
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The plant was reconnected to the Ukrainian grid several minutes before midnight after the fire was extinguished, say reports.
The incident comes after Ukraine last week marked the 33rd anniversary of the notorious Chernobyl explosion which sent radioactive pollution across Europe.
This fire-hit unit at Rivne power station was commissioned in 1987.