With disaster looming, inspectors prepare to visit a Ukrainian nuclear power plant

As fresh shelling heightens fears of a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Ukrainian authorities stepped up emergency drills on Saturday and rushed to distribute potassium iodide, a drug that can protect people against radiation-induced thyroid cancer, to tens of thousands of people living near the establishment.

In a country still haunted by the memory of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, officials have urged the public not to panic even as complex negotiations to allow a team of scientists from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the Russian-controlled factory in southeastern Ukraine took on an added urgency.

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