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    Zaporizhzhia power plant reactors remain under cooling

    June 9, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras


      The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine continues to receive water from reservoirs at the Kakhovka dam to cool fuel - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told AFP on Thursday evening (8).

      This information refutes the dam operator's claim that there was no more water supply to the plant.

      "The Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant continues to pump cooling water from the Kakhovka dam," the UN agency said in a statement.

      Earlier on Thursday, the head of Ukrainian operator Ukrhydroenergo, Ihor Syrota, even said that water reserves were no longer sufficient to cool the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest.

      The water level is "below the critical limit of 12.7 meters," he warned.

      This means that the dam is no longer able to feed "the pools of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant" for cooling operations, he added.

      The Kakhovka dam was destroyed on Tuesday and forced the evacuation of thousands of people in Kherson province. Kiev and Moscow are exchanging accusations over its destruction.

      This infrastructure is located on the Dnieper River and forms a reservoir that supplies cooling water to the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant located about 150 kilometers upstream.

      After evaluation, it was found that the water pumping operation "should be able to continue even if the level falls below 12.7 meters," the IAEA explained in the statement.

      "For now, the results indicate that it is likely that pumping can continue to function even if the level falls to 11 meters, possibly less," it detailed.

      "In these difficult and challenging circumstances, this provides a little more time before possibly switching to alternative water sources," said the agency's director, Rafael Grossi.

      The alternatives, which include a cooling pool near the plant, can provide the cooling water needed "for several months," he pointed out.

      "Nevertheless, the overall nuclear safety situation remains quite precarious and potentially dangerous," he stressed.

      Grossi is expected to travel to Zaporizhzhia next week.

      The UN agency has a team of experts at the plant, where measures have already been imposed to limit water consumption, using it only for "essential activities related to nuclear safety," Grossi stressed.

      The plant's reactors have already been shut down, but they still require cooling water to ensure there is no nuclear catastrophe.



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