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Update 24 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 20:00 CET

Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that all safety systems at the country’s largest nuclear power plant remained fully functional a day after the site lost connection to a third external power line linking it to the national electricity grid, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Two off-site power lines, including one on standby, are still available to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and there are no safety concerns, Ukraine’s regulatory authority added.

The NPP has four high voltage (750 kV) power lines plus one on standby. Two of the four were damaged earlier. The Ukrainian regulator said it was still not clear what had caused yesterday’s loss of the third line, but that the two remaining ensure the safe operation of the plant. Like other NPPs in Ukraine and other parts of the world, the plant also has back-up diesel generators in case they are needed.

On 4 March, Russian forces took control of the Zaporizhzhya NPP. Of its six reactors, two are currently operating. The regulator later today said they had decreased their power generation to 500 Megawatts electric (Mwe) each – about half of their maximum capacity – after a break in an on-site power line that will be repaired for a planned reconnection at 21:00 CET this evening. The regulator did not say what had caused the break in this internal line at the site.

The regulator said officials from Russia’s state nuclear power company Rosatom were still present at the NPP in southern Ukraine, but that the highly qualified Ukrainian staff continued to operate the plant. Ukraine has not requested any advisory, technical, or other support from the Russian Federation, it added.

In northern Ukraine, the Chornobyl NPP remained connected to the national electricity grid three days after engineers succeeded in resuming regular power supplies to this Russian-controlled site, the regulator said. The site of the 1986 accident lost all off-site power on 9 March and turned to diesel generators for back-up power. Ukrainian specialists repaired one of the two damaged lines a few days later and external electricity deliveries resumed on 14 March.

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 radioactive waste management facilities are located. They have not been able to rotate for more than three weeks.

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.

Director General Grossi said he is continuing his consultations with a view to agree a framework on the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. “With this agreement in place, the Agency would be able to provide effective technical assistance for the safe and secure operation of these facilities,” he said.



Last update: 07 May 2024

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