Ukraine nuclear plant without power after Russian attack

AFP | , by Shobhit Gupta

Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been left without power supply following a Russian strike and is running on diesel generators, the Ukrainian nuclear power operator said on Thursday.

The disruption came during a fresh wave of Russian attacks across Ukraine, which have killed at least nine people and caused power outages across the country.

Energoatom said, “The last power line between the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP and the Ukrainian power system was cut as a result of the rocket attacks.”

The operator said it was the sixth time the facility had been disconnected from the power grid since the Russian military took over the plant last year.

Energoatom said the plant is being powered by diesel generators, which could provide the facility’s energy needs for 10 days.

“The countdown has begun. If it is impossible to renew the station’s external power supply during this time, an accident with radiation consequences for the whole world could occur,” Energoatom said.

Russian officials controlling the plant said without giving details that the diesel generators had been switched on after a “short-circuit” on power lines.

“There are sufficient fuel reserves to ensure the operation of the generators,” he said in a statement, adding that all safety and security issues at the plant were in order.

Troops from Moscow occupied the plant on March 4, 2022, just days after invading Ukraine.

Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of shelling around Zaporizhia, the largest nuclear facility in Europe.

The UN nuclear agency IAEA posted observers to the plant in September and is seeking to negotiate a demilitarized zone near the facility, but talks appear to have stalled.

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