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Update 138 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

A 330 kilovolt (kV) back-up power line to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) was disconnected late yesterday due to damage caused by shelling, in the latest incident underlining the facility’s fragile supplies of electricity from the grid, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi said today. 

The ZNPP, whose six reactors are all in shutdown, continues to receive the off-site electricity it needs for reactor cooling and other essential nuclear safety and security functions from the plant’s only remaining operational 750 kV external power line, out of four such lines before the current conflict in Ukraine. 

The team of IAEA experts present at the ZNPP reported that its connection to the 330 kV Ferosplavna 1 back-up line was lost at 21:35 local time yesterday as a result of damage on the other side of the Dnipro River, some distance away from the plant itself. The extent of damage was not yet clear but work to repair the line is already under way, the IAEA team added.

The Ferosplavna 1 was the ZNPP’s last functioning back-up power line and it is vital that it is restored as soon as possible, Director General Grossi said, reiterating that all military action potentially threatening the nuclear safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants (NPPs) must stop immediately.

The Director General said he is continuing his consultations with Ukraine and Russia aimed at agreeing and implementing a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible.

While there has been no shelling directly at the site of Europe’s largest NPP since last month, the IAEA experts reported that they heard the sound of loud explosions today that appeared to come from a distance of a few hundred metres from the facility, in the area of the water channel connecting the nearby Zaporizhzhya thermal power station with the Dnipro River.

Separately, Ukraine informed the IAEA that the country’s three other NPPs – located in Ukrainian-controlled territory, unlike the ZNPP – were in the process of restoring their electrical power production levels following a decrease in output after yesterday’s missile attacks.

At the ZNPP, the IAEA team also reported that four more mobile diesel-fuelled boilers had begun operating over the past week, bringing the total to eight out of nine delivered to the ZNPP with power in the range of 1–6.5 megawatts (MW).  The nine boilers will provide about 34 MW of heating to the ZNPP site and to the nearby city of Enerhodar.


Last update: 07 May 2024

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