IAEA director says external power restored in Zaporizhzhya


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced today that external power has been restored to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) one day after it lost access to off-site electricity in the recent incident highlighting ongoing threats to nuclear safety and security during the country’s ongoing armed conflict, IAEA said in an official press release.

After Ukraine’s three other active nuclear power reactors were also unplugged from the grid yesterday, the country’s nuclear operator Energoatom announced today that it was “doing all that is possible to reestablish the operation of nuclear power generation as soon as possible.

Ukraine also informed the IAEA that while in shutdown mode, the three sites had been using diesel generators to provide backup electricity.

The most significant loss of off-site electricity for Ukraine’s nuclear industry since the conflict started nine months ago occurred yesterday, Director General Grossi noted, underscoring the necessity for increased measures to safeguard the reactors and reduce the risk of a catastrophic nuclear disaster.

The ZNPP’s emergency diesel generators, eight of which had been running since the loss of off-site power around 3:30 pm yesterday, were turned off just before 9 am this morning after the plant’s access to both its main 750 kV and backup 330 kV lines was restored, according to the IAEA team of experts.

Four of the reactor units are still in cold shutdown, while the other two have been switched back to hot shutdown so they can once again supply steam to the plant and heat the neighboring city of Enerhodar following yesterday’s power outage. In Enerhodar, where many plant employees reside, power is once more available.

Even when in shutdown and no longer generating electricity, reactors require power for cooling and other crucial nuclear safety and security activities. They have backup diesel generators that can provide electricity in the event of an external power outage, normally for a few days at least, and for at least ten days in the case of the ZNPP. The IAEA team reported today that four trucks carrying diesel fuel have arrived at the location to refill the tanks.

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