Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Anxiety as Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant loses power again, now on reserve line

*Ukraine’s  Zaporizhzhia plant with six reactors and Europe’s largest nuclear power station, has been controlled by Russian troops soon after their invasion of Ukraine February 2022

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

There are growing concerns around the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as the Russian forces surround the adjoining areas of the facility.

Six IAEA inspectors, who visited the plant last week, are at the site now, and there were concerns by Ukraine that they were not given full access to the site.

However, Redmond Shannon, Head of the UN’s  IAEA Mission stated that’s not the case.

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, again, lost connection to the last remaining main external power line, but continues to supply electricity to the grid through a reserve line, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Saturday, September 3.

The UN nuclear watchdog’s experts now stationed at the plant were told by Ukrainian staff that the site’s fourth operational 750 Kilovolt power line was down after three others were lost earlier, it said in a statement on its Web site.

But IAEA experts also learned that a reserve line linking the facility to a nearby thermal power plant was delivering electricity to the external grid.

This reserve line can also provide backup power to the ZNPP if needed, it said.

Zaporizhzhia, with six reactors, is Europe’s largest nuclear power station.

The station has been controlled by Russian troops since soon after their invasion of Ukraine in late February and has become one of the focal points of the conflict, with each side blaming the other for shelling around the plant.

The IAEA also said: “One reactor is still operating and producing electricity both for cooling and other essential safety functions at the site and for households, factories and others through the grid.”

Rafael Grossi, Director-General of IAEA mission, led the agency’s tour of the plant last Thursday.

Grossi had said that some experts would remain there pending the release of a report on its operations.

Transmission lines to the plant were cut last week and the facility was cut off from the national grid for the first time in its history, prompting power cuts in various regions of Ukraine. But emergency generators kicked in to provide power needed for vital cooling processes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy blamed Russian shelling for the cutoff and said a radiation leak had narrowly been avoided.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces had attempted to capture the Zaporizhzhia plant in an attack on the facility on Friday night — the second such allegation in as many days.

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