A RUSSIAN missile strike has hit a facility close to a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine in what has been described as an act of “nuclear terrorism”, the country’s atomic energy operator said. 

Energoatom, which operates Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, said the strike early on Monday hit an industrial complex that includes the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant in the Mykolaiv region.

Energoatom said the missile struck just 300 metres from the plant, causing an explosion which broke more than 100 windows in the complex. 

The attack also resulted in a nearby hydropower plant shutting down temporarily although it did not affect the reactors of the nuclear plant, Energoatom has confirmed. 

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The Pivdennoukrainsk plant, also known as the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, sits along the Southern Bug River and is about 190 miles south of the capital, Kyiv.

It is Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear power plant with three reactors.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been occupied by Russian forces since the early days of the invasion and has repeatedly come under fire which has cut off its transmission lines and eventually forced operators to shut it down to prevent a radiation disaster. 

Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for the shelling.