Smoke billows from a power plant after it was shelled in Shchastya, in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The Zaporizhzhia power plant is the largest nuclear plant and ninth largest in the world. In the early hours of Friday morning, a fire broke out in the plant after reports of shelling by Russian forces. Thus posing the question; is there now a genuine nuclear threat to Ukraine?

The first reports from the plant came from an employee, posting on Telegram that Russian forces had fired on the facility and there was “a real threat of nuclear danger at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe”.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister confirmed the reports at 2:30 this morning, tweeting Russian forces were “firing on all sides.”

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service has since reported radiation levels are at a normal level. Ukrainian Authorities have since stated nuclear safety is guaranteed.

Russia has already captured the defunct Chernobyl plant, however, analysists say the Zaporizhzhia plant is much safer and the events of the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown are unlikely to be repeated.

However, Dominic Raab has warned the West must be prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tactics in Ukraine to become “ever more barbaric,” PA reports.

Speaking in Birmingham, Keir Starmer said “We need a ceasefire – and we need to stop this aggression from Russia because this escalation is deeply, deeply concerning,” PA reports.

Russian forces have since taken control of the plant.