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Update 26 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Vienna, Austria, posted at 20:42 CET

Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that Ukrainian engineers had repaired and reconnected one of three previously disconnected power lines linking the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to the electricity grid, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

The repair of the power line means that the country’s largest nuclear power plant now has three off-site lines available, Ukraine’s regulatory authority added. NPPs use such lines to send the electricity they generate to the grid and, if required, to obtain power themselves.

The Zaporizhzhya NPP has four high voltage (750 kV) external power lines plus one on standby. It has in recent weeks lost connection to three of them, but the regulator today said one was reconnected in the evening of 18 March. It had earlier said it was expected to be reconnected on 22 March.

The regulator reiterated that the NPP’s safety systems were fully functional. It was not known when the two other non-operational lines could be reconnected, it added. Russian forces took control of the NPP on 4 March. Of its six reactors, two are operating.

In an official note to the IAEA today on the “current situation of safety of Ukrainian nuclear facilities”, the Russian Federation claimed that at the Zaporizhzhya NPP “the rotation of personnel is carried out in a regular mode” and that “there are no problems with spare parts”. It also said that “explosive objects ….  on the territory” of the NPP after events on 4 March “were eliminated”.

In northern Ukraine, the Ukrainian national regulator said the Chornobyl NPP remained connected to the power grid after engineers on 14 March restored power supplies that had been lost for five days. Russian forces on 24 February took control of the site. Staff there have not been able to rotate for more than three weeks.

In today’s note to the IAEA, the Russian Federation said that since 14 March, “the situation with the power supply of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is completely stabilized”.

On the status of Ukraine’s four operational NPPs, 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 and safety systems are operating, 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 agreeing on a framework on the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. “With this framework 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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