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Update 23 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 21:30 CET

Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the country’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) had lost connection to a third power line but that two others remained available and there was no safety concern, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant has four high voltage (750 kV) offsite power lines plus one on standby. Two of the four were damaged earlier. The Ukrainian regulator said it was not clear what had caused today’s loss of a third line. It said the remaining power line and the one on standby were sufficient to ensure that all safety systems remained fully functional without limitations. Like other NPPs in Ukraine and elsewhere, the plant also has back-up diesel generators in case they are needed.

On 4 March, Russian forces took control of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, which has six reactors. The site’s Ukrainian staff have continued to operate the plant. The site’s two operating reactors – units 2 and 4 – slightly decreased their power supplies to the grid today to adapt to the changed power line situation, the regulator said.

The regulator earlier today said the Chornobyl NPP remained connected to the national electricity grid two days after engineers succeeded in resuming regular power supplies to this Russian-controlled site.

The site of the 1986 accident lost all off-site power on 9 March and resorted to diesel fuel for back-up electricity. Ukrainian specialist teams repaired one of the two damaged lines linking the plant to the network, allowing the resumption of external electricity deliveries on 14 March. The emergency diesel generators were switched off the same day.

Russian forces took control of the Chornobyl NPP on 24 February. Ukrainian staff have continued to manage day-to-day operations at the site, where various radioactive waste management facilities are located. They have not been able to rotate for three weeks. “I remain gravely concerned about the extremely difficult circumstances for the Ukrainian staff there,” Director General Grossi said.

On the status of Ukraine’s four operational nuclear power plants, the Ukrainian regulator said eight of the country’s 15 reactors remained operating, including the two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at Rivne, one at Khmelnytskyy, and two at South Ukraine. The radiation levels at all NPPs are in the normal range, it said.

In relation to safeguards, the Agency said that the situation remained unchanged from that reported earlier this week. The Agency was still not receiving remote data transmission from its monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl NPP, but such data was being transferred to IAEA headquarters from the other NPPs in Ukraine.


Last update: 17 Mar 2022

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