War in Ukraine: Zaporizhzhya power plant was “on the brink of nuclear accident” overnight

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Saturday that Europe’s largest power plant was without power for the “eighth time” since the conflict began, “reinforcing concerns about nuclear safety and security.

Enerkottam explained that two power lines supplying the plant were “cut”, one of which was “de-energized during the airstrike”.

But the power outage is dangerous for the proper functioning of the plant, which risks a “nuclear and radiation accident,” Enerkotam said.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine has been in Russian hands since the country’s invasion in early 2022.

It has, in the past, been the target of fires and suffered power outages on several occasions, a dangerous situation that has raised fears of a major nuclear accident.

The failure of one of the two lines appears to have been caused by an incident “far from the power station,” the IAEA said, without providing further details.

“The recent external power outage is a fresh reminder of the uncertainty of nuclear safety and plant safety, which can be affected by events far from the site,” said IAEA Director General Raffaele Croci. Press release.

Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, accused Russian forces of “not caring about safety at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant”.

“They will continue to create dangerous situations, threatening the entire world with a nuclear and radiation accident,” he concluded.

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