TookUkraine on Sunday announced the closure of the sixth and last reactor operating at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (South), Europe’s largest and occupied by Russian forces.
“Today, September 11, 2022, during the night at 03:41 (01:41 GMT) unit number 6 (power plant) was disconnected from the power grid”, according to a press release from Ukrainian operator Energoatom. “Preparations for its cooling are underway,” says the operator.
According to Energoatom, a cold shutdown is the “safest state” for the reactor, which was the only one to cool the nuclear fuel for three days and produce the electricity needed to ensure the safety of the site. The decision to close it was taken when the site’s external power supply was restored “last night” along with a transmission line.
“In the event of further damage to the transmission lines connecting the site to the electrical system – the risk of which is high – the internal needs (of the site) will have to be provided by diesel-powered generators,” warned Energotom. In its press release, Energoatom reiterated its call for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant, the only way according to the operator to ensure its safety.
Ukraine and its allies have expressed growing concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhia plant. For weeks, confusion has raged around the site of the power plant, which has been marred by several attacks, with Kyiv and Moscow blaming each other.
On Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported a “total outage of water and electricity” in the Ukrainian city of Energodar (south), where the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located. , a situation that “compromises the safety of operations”. “This is completely unacceptable. This cannot continue,” Rafael Grossi, the director general of this UN agency, said in a press release, “to immediately stop the bombing of the area”.
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