• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

Update 116 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) lost all external power for a second time in less than a week today, further underlining the precarious nuclear safety and security situation at the facility and the need for urgent action to protect it during the current military conflict, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

The IAEA team of experts present at the ZNPP reported that the connection to its last remaining operating 750 kilovolt (kV) power line was cut around 9am local time. The plant’s emergency diesel generators automatically started operating to provide the six reactors with the electricity they need for cooling and other essential safety functions.

Ukraine also confirmed the power loss. Its national nuclear operator Energoatom said shelling had caused it by damaging a sub-station – part of the grid’s electrical transmission and distribution system – located far from the plant itself. Last Saturday, the ZNPP’s external power connection was cut due to renewed shelling near the plant. It was repaired the following day but is now down again. The plant’s diesel generators have fuel for about 10 days.

“The repeated loss of off-site power at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is deeply worrying. The fact that the plant’s external power was lost because of an incident far away shows how vulnerable it is with only one power line connecting it to the grid,” Director General Grossi said. “The situation at the plant is clearly untenable and immediate action is required to strengthen nuclear safety and security and prevent a nuclear accident from happening.”  

Director General Grossi has proposed the establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the ZNPP, engaging in high-level talks with Ukraine and the Russian Federation aimed at agreeing and implementing such a zone as soon as possible.

Last week, he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and they will meet again there tomorrow, following the Director General’s discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg yesterday.

A secure off-site power supply from the grid is essential for ensuring nuclear safety. This requirement is among the seven indispensable nuclear safety and security pillars that the Director General outlined at the beginning of the conflict.





Last update: 07 May 2024

Stay in touch