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    Europe's largest nuclear power plant runs out of power and warns of "extremely vulnerable security"


    May 22, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      This Monday morning the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, located in Ukraine, but controlled by Russian troops, again suffered a blackout and was left without external power supply.

      This is the seventh time this has happened since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and experts warn that this extreme situation could put millions at risk of a nuclear event due to the lack of control of the plant.

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      This was warned by the Argentinean in charge of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, after hearing the news: "The nuclear safety situation at the plant is extremely vulnerable", warned the specialist.

      This is why he urged the different parties to the conflict to reach an agreement to "protect the plant" as soon as possible, since "this situation cannot continue like this".

      Zaporiyia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, with six reactors in total: it was seized by Russian troops almost at the beginning of the conflict, in February 2021, and has remained under their control ever since.

      Zaporiyia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

      Of the six reactors, five are shut down cold, while the remaining one only provides power for the plant's needs. These outages involve a "disconnection of the 750-kilowatt high-voltage line" provided by Ukraine, so Zaporiyia must be sustained by diesel generator backup equipment at these times.

      Russian troops at the plant also reported the loss of internal power supply and added that it was due to "the failure of the Dniprovska high-voltage line" connected to a power plant in the Dnipro region.

      Precisely, according to the Ukrainian military the town of Dnipro was under attack on Sunday night to Monday with 16 missiles and 20 Russian explosive drones, possibly explaining the fall.

      "It is unpredictable and dangerous": the UN warning about a Ukrainian nuclear power plant.

      From the Ukrainian state operator, Energoatom, they remarked that, in the face of events of this type, the generators are automatically switched on. However, they stressed that the supply is only enough to maintain the "vital" function of "nuclear cooling" for 10 days.

      The Russian administration of the plant stressed that radiation levels at the plant remain at normal levels and said that the causes of the power outage, the second since last March, are being investigated.

      Although, a few hours later, the Ukrainian authorities stated that "power has been restored to the nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian electricity system", the warning about the need to take care of the plant's reactors remains.

      Since September 1st last year a mission of IAEA experts has been at the plant to supervise its safety, and the Agency insists on the importance of generating agreements so that the plant becomes neutral ground and can be managed in a responsible manner.

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