Power outage due to air raid?: Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was “on the verge of a nuclear accident”

Power outage due to air raid?
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was “on the verge of a nuclear accident”

During the night, the power went out at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – for the eighth time since the attack on Ukraine. To prevent a core meltdown, the operator must use generators. The reason for the near-disaster is said to have been an air strike.

Due to a temporary power outage, the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, which was occupied by Russian troops, was said to have been “on the verge of a nuclear accident” during the night, according to the operator. “Last night there was a total failure at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant,” Energoatom said on Telegram. Accordingly, generators had to be used. The power supply via the Ukrainian electricity network was then restored a few hours later in the early morning.

According to Energoatom, two power lines in the Russian-controlled nuclear power plant in the south of the country were “interrupted”, one of them by an air strike. “The (Russian) occupation forces do not care about security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” said Energoatom Chairman Petro Kotin.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed in a statement that the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was “temporarily without power overnight.” This was the eighth power outage since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine. According to the IAEA, the failure of one of the two lines occurred due to an incident “far away from the power plant.” The authority did not provide any further details. “The recent external power failure is another reminder of how precarious nuclear safety and power plant safety are,” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi was quoted as saying in the statement. This security could even be compromised “by events far away from the facility.”

With six reactors, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The Russian army took control of the facility shortly after the start of its war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022. The facility has come under attack several times since then.

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