Ukrainian nuclear plant loses power supply again, is 'extremely vulnerable'

The nuclear safety situation at the plant (is) extremely vulnerable, Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a tweet

AP Kyiv
Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant

Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (Photo: Reuters)

Listen to This Article

Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest atomic power station, switched to emergency diesel generators Monday after losing its external power supply for the seventh time since Russia's full-scale invasion of its neighbour, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said.

The nuclear safety situation at the plant (is) extremely vulnerable, Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a tweet.

We must agree to protect (the) plant now; this situation cannot continue, Grossi said, in his latest appeal for the area to be spared from the fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces. IAEA staff are deployed at the plant, which is occupied by Russian troops.

The plant's six nuclear reactors are protected by a reinforced shelter able to withstand an errant shell or rocket. But a disruption in the electrical supply could disable cooling systems essential for the reactors' safety. Emergency diesel generators can be unreliable.

Fighting, especially artillery fire, around the plant has fuelled fears of a disaster like the one at Chernobyl in 1986. Then, a reactor exploded and spewed deadly radiation, contaminating a vast area in the world's worst nuclear catastrophe.

Energoatom, Ukraine's state nuclear company, blamed Russian shelling for the loss of the last high-voltage transmission line to the plant in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine, about 500 kilometres from Kyiv. It was not possible to independently verify that claim.

Also Read

IAEA to send permanent technical missions to all nuclear plants in Ukraine

Russia, IAEA hold discussions on safety of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

400,000 gallons of radioactive water leaked from US nuclear power plant

Fukushima's nuclear wastewater can produce cancers on release: Scientists

UK phones to get emergency alert system to warn of life-threatening events

Extreme weather events over half-century killed 2 mn, $4.3 trn damage: UN

Meta fined 1.2 bn euros for breaching European Union's privacy laws

Climate change to push 30% species over tipping points: Research

PM Modi, New Zealand counterpart discuss full range of bilateral ties

Nasa tracks two large asteroids approaching Earth at more than 30,000 kmph

The facility is on the verge of a nuclear and radiation accident, Energoatom warned.

Grossi said it was the seventh time the plant had lost its outside power supply since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is one of the 10 biggest atomic power stations in the world.

Russian officials have begun training for a planned evacuation from the plant of 3,100 staff and their families, a representative of Energoatom said last week. The plant employed around 11,000 staff before the war, some 6,000 of whom remain at the site and in the surrounding town of Enerhodar.

More Russian military units have been arriving at the site and are mining it, the representative told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 22 2023 | 4:08 PM IST

Explore News