MELITOPOL, November 2. /TASS/. The fifth and sixth reactors of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant have been transferred from a cold shutdown state to what specialists call hot shutdown: the power plant does not generate electricity, but provides thermal power, the CEO of the Rosenergoatom concern, Renat Karchaa, told TASS on Wednesday.
"We have started heating up two reactors - the fifth and the sixth," Karchaa said. These two reactors are currently in a state called hot shutdown: "The power units have been heated to a certain level, but they do not produce electricity yet. They generate only thermal power. This is a result of joint efforts by the power plant’s personnel, the Rosenergoatom concern and the state corporation Rosatom and also of political will displayed by the authorities".
Karchaa added that there remained a real risk of attacks by Ukraine on electricity grids, heating pipelines, and high voltage power lines. If this happens, the reactor will have to be cooled down again with reliance on diesel generators, he explained.
"This type of emergency shutdown poses a threat to nuclear safety. It’s a very serious risk in the context of nuclear safety," Karchaa said.
In early October, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that the Zaporozhye NPP’s personnel had informed the organization's experts about their plans to restart one of the six power units.
The ZNPP is under the control of Russian forces. Its territory has repeatedly been targeted by Ukrainian military’ strikes. The damage caused to some infrastructure facilities nearby caused the suspension of all six reactors.
Karchaa said that Russia would be the owner of all Zaporozhye nuclear power plant-related properties. The concern has already created an operating organization.
The Zaporozhye NPP has been providing thermal power to Energodar since May when the Zaporozhye thermoelectric power plant had to be stopped as a result of Ukrainian artillery bombardments.