Ukraine’s state nuclear company and UN atomic watchdog said on Saturday (October 8) that overnight shelling has cut power supply of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and that the plant was on emergency diesel generators. Zaporizhzhia is currently occupied by Russian forces and the nuclear plant is the biggest in Europe.
Buildings in the nuclear plant have received damage and the situation threatens of a catastrophic nuclear accident.
Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for shelling.
The International Atomic Energy Energy (IAEA) is pushing for a protection zone to be set up to prevent further shelling.
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Constant electricity supply is critical for the nuclear plant as the nuclear fuel needs cooling to prevent a nuclear meltdown.
“The resumption of shelling, hitting the plant’s sole source of external power, is tremendously irresponsible. The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant must be protected,” the IAEA quoted its chief Rafael Grossi as saying in a statement.
The IAEA confirmed an earlier statement by Ukrainian nuclear regulator Energoatom that said the plant had switched to its diesel generators after shelling at around 1 a.m. cut the main 750 kilovolt line supplying external power to the plant.
“All the plant’s safety systems continue to receive power and are operating normally, the IAEA experts (stationed at Zaporizhzhia) were informed by senior Ukrainian operating staff,” the IAEA said.
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