Ukrainian drone attacks Russian town near major nuclear plant

MOSCOW (Reuters) -A Ukrainian drone attacked a town in western Russia which is home to one of the country's biggest nuclear power stations, though there was no damage reported to the plant, Russian officials said.

Governor Roman Starovoit said a Ukrainian drone had damaged the facade of a building in the town of Kurchatov, just a few kilometres from the Kursk nuclear power station, early on Friday. He had earlier said there were two drones but clarified his remarks.

"There are no casualties," Starovoit said. Starovoit did not mention any potential damage to the Kursk nuclear power plant.

The Soviet-era Kursk nuclear power station has the same graphite-moderated reactors as the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

An explosion and fire at the Chernobyl plant in 1986, in then Soviet Ukraine, was the world’s worst nuclear accident, spreading radiation across Europe.

Currently three RBMK-1000 reactors in Kursk are operational with one shut down, according to Russia's state nuclear corporation.

Russia and Ukraine have in the past accused each other of plotting to attack the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine. Russian troops seized the station, Europe's largest nuclear facility with six reactors, in the days after the Kremlin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Another drone was shot down approaching Moscow on Friday morning, said Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. That briefly disrupted flights to Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

In the western Russian region of Belgorod another drone was shot down, according to Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry)