Security camera video shared by Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky on Monday showed a large explosion close to the plant, which is the second largest in the country.

Energoatom said the blast shattered windows and damaged buildings at the facility in the southern Mykolaiv region.

The site’s three reactors were operating as normal after the missile impacted about 300 metres away, leaving a crater two metres deep, the agency said.

In a message posted on his Telegram channel, President Zelensky said: “Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it’s too late”.

The missile struck within 330 yards of the reactors at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk in Mykolaiv province, leaving a hole 6 1/2 feet deep and 13 feet wide, according to Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom.

The reactors were operating normally and no employees were injured, it said. But the proximity of the strike renewed fears that Russia’s nearly 7-month-long war in Ukraine might produce a radiation disaster.