Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant relying on emergency generators: IAEA
Vienna/Lviv/Moscow Oct 12 (EFE).- Russian-occupied Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia has been disconnected from an external power supply and is now reliant on emergency generators, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Wednesday.
“Our team at #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant informed me this morning that the plant has lost all of its external power for the 2nd time in five days,” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi wrote on Twitter.
“Its backup diesel generators are now providing electricity for its nuclear safety and security functions,” he added.
Although the plant’s six reactors have been shut down, a constant supply of electricity is essential to keep the fuel stored inside cool to avoid a possible nuclear accident.
The UN nuclear watchdog’s chief is currently holding talks with Kyiv and Moscow to establish a protection zone around Zaporizhzhya, which Russia has controlled since the beginning of March, days after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for shelling incidents at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which have caused damage to some of the facility’s buildings and the power supply system.
“This repeated loss of #ZNPP’s off-site power is a deeply worrying development and it underlines the urgent need for a nuclear safety & security protection zone around the site,” Grossi stressed.
Russian forces launched several missiles on the city of Zaporizhzhia and its surroundings Tuesday night but caused no significant damage.
“The enemy again launched an insidious night missile strike. About seven S-300 missiles were fired at Zaporizhzhia and its suburbs,” Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration, said in a Telegram post, according to Ukrinform news agency.
“Fortunately, nobody was killed,” Starukh said.
On Tuesday, Russian troops bombed a total of 22 settlements in the region as part of a new wave of Russian strikes on several Ukrainian cities since Monday that have killed at least 12 people and injured over 100, according to the United Nations.
Russia has described the new wave of strikes on Ukrainian cities including Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia as retaliation for the bombing of the bridge connecting Russia and the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea on Saturday.
On Wednesday, The Kremlin announced it had detained eight people over the attack in Crimea.
“So far, five Russian nationals, as well as three Ukrainians and Armenians who took part in preparations for the attack have been arrested as part of a criminal case,” the Russian security services (FSB) said.
The FSB accused Ukraine’s military intelligence service of organizing the explosion that struck the strategic bridge over the weekend.
“The explosive device was concealed in rolls of construction polyethylene on 22 pallets for a total weight of 22,770 kilograms,” the statement added.
The Crimean peninsula was annexed by Moscow in 2014.