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Ukraine’s ZNPP Must Be Urgently Protected, IAEA’s Grossi Says After Plant Loses All External Power Due to Shelling

Vienna, Austria

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has lost its last remaining external power source due to renewed shelling and is now relying on emergency diesel generators for the electricity it needs for reactor cooling and other essential nuclear safety and security functions, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today.

The ZNPP’s connection to the 750 kilovolt (kV) power line was cut at around 1am local time today, Director General Grossi said, citing official information from Ukraine as well as reports from the team of IAEA experts present at the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Sixteen of the plant’s diesel generators started operating automatically, providing its six reactors with power. After the situation stabilised, ten of the generators were switched off, leaving six to provide the reactors with necessary electricity.

“The resumption of shelling, hitting the plant’s sole source of external power, is tremendously irresponsible. The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant must be protected,” Director General Grossi said. “I will soon travel to the Russian Federation, and then return to Ukraine, to agree on a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the plant. This is an absolute and urgent imperative.”

All the plant’s safety systems continue to receive power and are operating normally, the IAEA experts were informed by senior Ukrainian operating staff at the site. Although the six reactors are in cold shutdown, they still require electricity for vital nuclear safety and security functions. The plant’s diesel generators each have sufficient fuel for at least ten days. ZNPP engineers have begun work to repair the damaged 750 kV power line.



Last update: 09 Oct 2022

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