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Update 169 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has been reconnected to its only available back-up power line four months after it was lost, but the site’s power situation remains extremely fragile during the ongoing military conflict and is not sustainable, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today.

The ZNPP’s connection to the single remaining 330 kilovolt (kV) power line – out of six such back-up lines before the conflict – was cut on 1 March due to damage sustained on the other side of the Dnipro River and restored in the evening of 1 July. Work to reconnect the power line had been hampered by the difficult security situation in the southern region.

The reconnection of the 330 kV line is significant as the ZNPP for the past several months has been relying on a single main 750 kV line for the external electricity it needs for reactor cooling and other essential nuclear safety and security functions. It had four 750 kV lines before the conflict began in February 2022.

The 330 kV line is now energised and is kept as back-up and ready to supply power to the ZNPP if the 750 kV line becomes unavailable or damaged.

During the conflict, the ZNPP has so far lost all off-site power seven times, forcing it to temporarily resort to the site’s emergency diesel generators for electricity.

“While the reconnection of the back-up power line is positive, the plant’s external power situation remains highly vulnerable, underlining the precarious nuclear safety and security situation at the site,” Director General Grossi said.

Last update: 07 May 2024

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