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Unstable power supply remains among Zaporozhye NPP’s main problems this winter — IAEA

According to the head of the IAEA, the organization is fully focused on doing everything possible to prevent a nuclear accident

VIENNA, December 8. /TASS/. Frequent power supply disruptions remain among the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP)’s main problems this winter, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said on Thursday.

"The IAEA remains fully focused on doing everything it can to help prevent a nuclear accident during this devastating war. The repeated loss of off-site power at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, sometimes from causes at a considerable distance from the plant, remains one of our main challenges in this context, especially during the winter months. No one would gain from a nuclear accident and it must be avoided," the IAEA quoted Grossi as saying.

At this point, the NPP depends on a single power line for the off-site electricity it needs to cool its six reactors and for other essential nuclear safety and security functions. Its last 330 kV back-up power line is still disconnected.

On December 2, the plant suffered a complete loss of external electricity and had to temporarily rely on emergency diesel generators. It was the eighth such incident since February 22.

Located in Energodar, the Zaporozhye nuclear facility, with roughly 6GW of capacity, is the largest of its kind in Europe. Russia took control of the plant on February 28, 2022, in the first days of its special military operation in Ukraine. Since then, units of the Ukrainian army have periodically conducted shelling both of residential districts in nearby Energodar and the premises of the nuclear plant itself, by means of drones, heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).