Russia's attack on a Ukrainian nuclear power plant was the "height of irresponsibility," the White House said on Friday after Russian forces took control of the facility.
The attack on Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant resulted in a fire erupting at a training complex at the site, which was extinguished by Ukrainian firefighters. UN officials reported that no radiation was released, and that essential equipment was not affected.
But White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki sharply assailed Russia's "incredibly reckless and dangerous" attack, which she said "could have posed a profound threat to the safety of civilians in the region and beyond." The Kremlin must "cease operations around nuclear infrastructure," she added.
An ongoing review within the Biden administration will examine the attack, as well as potential war crimes and crimes against humanity caused by Russia's war, Psaki said.
The probe is gathering "evidence and data of the targeting of civilians, of the reported use of horrific weapons of war on the ground in Ukraine," Psaki said. "That’s an ongoing process. We have not made conclusions. It’s a legal review, and a process that goes through the administration."
Located in southeastern Ukraine near the city of Enerhodar, the Zaporizhzhia plant generates 20% of Ukraine's electricity. A total of six reactors, each with a net capacity of 950 megawatts, can supply energy to nearly 4 million households with a total electricity production of 5,700 megawatts.
Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the EU, US, and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
More than 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency.