Russia "has essentially militarized" Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the US charged on Monday ahead of an anticipated visit to the facility by international inspectors.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that in addition to stationing weapons and troops at the site, which is Ukraine's largest nuclear facility, Russia has been "firing from around the plant" at Ukrainian forces.

"Fighting around the plant should stop. A nuclear power plant is no place to be in the vicinity of combat operations," Kirby told reporters.

Russia has remained in control of the plant since its forces overran the area in the early days of the war. Russia and Ukraine have exchanged blame for shelling that has occurred near the facility in recent weeks, raising concerns of a potential nuclear disaster.

The repeated strikes have prompted calls from the US and others for the area around the plant to be designated a demilitarized zone.

At least 10 people were injured on Monday when Russian forces shelled residential areas surrounding the facility, Ukrainian officials alleged.

The latest escalation came ahead of a visit by a team of experts from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the power plant in southern Ukraine.

Kirby voiced the US's full support for the upcoming review and called on Russia to ensure the "safe, unfettered access for these independent inspectors."

By holding the plant, Russian President Vladimir Putin "can hold Ukraine hostage with respect to their own electrical power capabilities," he added.

"The Zaporizhzhia power plant basically controls all the electrical power supplied to southern Ukraine and even beyond. He can hold that power hostage," said Kirby, adding that Moscow could also divert some of the facility's power output to Russia.