Another fire caused by bombings forced to disconnect the last reactor of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest in Europe (IAEA, via Reuters) (IAEA /)

The last operating reactor of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia (south), the largest in Europe, was disconnected from the network on Monday, said the Ukrainian state operator Energoatom.

Reactor number 6 was stopped and disconnected from the network”, stated Energoatom on Telegram, which argued a fire “that broke out as a result of the bombings” and damaged a power line linking that reactor to the Ukrainian grid.

this reactor it was the only one in operation of the six units of this plant. On Saturday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose experts are on site, announced the stoppage of reactor number 5, following the damage to a power line after a bombing. The other four reactors in Zaporizhia have been offline for weeks.

The director general of the IAEA, the Argentine Rafael Grossi, declared on Thursday that “it is evident that (…) the physical integrity of the plant was violated on several occasions.”

Rafael Grossi, director general of the IAEA (Reuters)
Rafael Grossi, director general of the IAEA (Reuters) (LEONHARD FOEGER /)

Russia and Ukraine have been accusing each other for weeks of attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant.

This Monday, IAEA experts who inspected the nuclear power plant in recent days they left the placegiving rise to the permanent mission of the UN agency with two representatives in the plantreported the pro-Russian regional administration.

The members of the IAEA mission left the nuclear power plant, leaving two people as observersVladimir Rogov, a member of the pro-Russian council of the Ukrainian province, told the Komosomolskaya Pravda radio station.

The head of the pro-Russian Administration of the city of Energodar, which hosts the nuclear plant, Alexandr Volga, confirmed the news to the Russian agency interfacenoting that these “They will be in charge of controlling the safety of the operation of the nuclear power plant.”

Visit of IAEA experts (via Reuters)
Visit of IAEA experts (via Reuters) (IAEA/)

“By indication of the mission itself and Mr. (IAEA Director General, Rafael) Grossi, they must remain permanent and will be rotated periodically. He fulfilled the promise that the mission will be permanentVolga added.

On Tuesday, the Argentine will report to the UN Security Council on his mission to Zaporizhzhia.

For its part, the Ukrainian government wants IAEA technicians to carry out a nuclear engineering audit at the plant and not just inspection and surveillance tasks. This was expressed by Mykhailo Podolyak, main adviser to the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, in statements to the national television program Telethon, which is collected on Monday by the local agency ukrinform.

In his opinion, at the plant “there should be a certain number of people who understand nuclear physics and the technologies of this type of engineering. They can be there alongside our staff,” he said. And he added that currently the Government of Ukraine does not have clear and reliable data on whether “everything is normal in the facility in terms of safety circuits, reactor cooling and personnel”, since it did not see details in this regard in the initial report of the agency.

On the IAEA’s initiative to establish a permanent presence, he noted that this could help protect Ukrainian personnel working at the plant “from the armed invaders” who control it. “Russian troops have no idea what is happening there (in Zaporizhzhia), so they cannot properly assess the risks. But there is a certain number of our personnel who need some type of protection,” stressed the presidential adviser.

(With information from AFP and EFE)


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