Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant: The last operating reactor was shut down

According to Ukrainian operator Energoatom, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was disconnected from the power grid overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

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LUkraine announced on Sunday the shutdown of the sixth and last reactor at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (south), the largest in Europe and occupied by Russian forces.

“Today, September 11, 2022, at 03:41 pm (01:41 GMT) unit number 6 (of the power plant) was disconnected from the power line,” Ukrainian operator Energoatom said in a press release. “Preparations are underway for its cooling,” says the operator.

According to Energoatom, the cold shutdown was a “safe condition” for the reactor, which was only for three days to produce the electricity needed to cool the nuclear fuel and ensure the safety of the site. The decision to close the site was made when external power was restored “last night” via one of the transmission lines.

“In the event of further damage to the transmission lines connecting the site to the power system – the risk of which is high – internal needs (of the site) will have to be met by diesel-powered generators,” warns Energotam. In its press release, Energoatom reiterates its call for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant, which according to the operator is the only way to ensure its safety.

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Ukraine and its allies have expressed growing concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhia plant. For weeks, there has been confusion surrounding the site of the power plant, which has been hit by several strikes, in which Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other.

On Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced a “total blackout of water and electricity” in the Ukrainian city of Enerkodar (south), where the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located. , which “compromises the security of operations”. “This is absolutely unacceptable. It cannot continue,” the UN agency’s director-general, Rafael Croci, said in a press release, calling for an “immediate cessation of bombings in the area.”

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