For the sixth time since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the largest nuclear plant in Europe has shut down the power grid.
After another power outage at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), the head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency appealed for the creation of a protection zone, saying he was “astonished by the complacency” of the organization he leads, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). atomic).
Russian forces bombed several Ukrainian cities while people slept on Thursday, killing at least six civilians, knocking out power and taking Europe’s largest nuclear plant off the grid for the sixth time since the invasion of Moscow began last year.
Rafael Grossi told the International Atomic Energy Agency’s governing board at a meeting on Thursday that the last time all power was lost at the site was on November 23, 2022.
What are we doing to prevent this [from] It is happening? We are the International Atomic Energy Agency, and we are supposed to take care of nuclear safety.
“Every time we roll a dice. And if we allow this to continue over and over again, one day our luck will run out.”
The agency has placed teams of experts at all four nuclear power plants in Ukraine to reduce the risk of serious accidents.
The ZNPP, which is held by Russia, can shut down diesel generators for 10 days. Nuclear plants need steady power to run cooling systems and avoid meltdowns, and there are still concerns about the potential for disaster in Zaporozhye.
As in previous attacks, Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the latest power outage.
Grossi had long tried to persuade the two parties to strike a deal, pledging not to shoot at or from the factory and to remove the heavy weapons.
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that after the attack, the plant lost all external power supplies and relied on diesel generators, a last line of defense to prevent meltdowns caused by the high temperature of reactor fuel.
“This morning, at about 5 a.m. local time, the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant lost all of its off-site power when the last remaining 750 kV line was disconnected, and the only remaining 330 kV backup line was damaged a few days ago and is under repair,” she said. The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on Thursday.
In his statement to the IAEA Board of Directors, Grossi stressed: “This is the sixth time – let me say it again for the sixth time – that ZNPP has lost all off-site power and has been forced to operate in this emergency mode. Let me remind you – this is the largest plant “Nuclear power in Europe. What do we do? How can we sit here in this room this morning and let that happen? This cannot go on.”
The first major barrage of missile attacks since mid-February has shattered the longest period of relative calm since Russia began a campaign to attack Ukrainian civilian infrastructure five months ago.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that infrastructure and residential buildings in 10 Ukrainian regions were bombed.
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