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Update 212 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria

Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has lost the connection to its last back-up external power line, once again underlining the fragile nuclear safety and security situation at the site, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today.

The IAEA team of experts stationed at the ZNPP was informed that the 330 kilovolt (kV) line was disconnected at 2:04 pm local time yesterday, due to a problem which occurred on the other side of the Dnipro river, some 13.5 kilometres away from the 330 kV switchyard, which supplies back-up power to the site. The cause of the disconnection was not immediately known, the ZNPP said, adding it had been informed by the Ukrainian grid operator that work on the line was under way.

The ZNPP is still receiving the electricity it needs from its only 750 kV line, but the loss of the 330 kV line means the plant currently has no back-up options available for off-site power. Before the conflict, the plant had four 750 kV lines and six 330 kV lines available.

Frequent power cuts have remained a source of serious concern for nuclear safety and security at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant as it needs electricity to cool its reactors and for other essential functions, even when all reactor units have been shut down.

While there was no total loss of off-site power on this occasion, the ZNPP has suffered eight events with a complete loss of off-site power since August 2022, forcing it to temporarily rely on emergency diesel generators.

“The extremely vulnerable off-site power situation continues to pose significant safety and security challenges for this major nuclear facility. Even though the main power line remains in operation, the lack of back-up power demonstrates that the nuclear safety and security situation at the plant remains precarious,” Director General Grossi said.


Last update: 07 May 2024

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