Zaporizhzhia power station uses diesel generators as shelling cuts off electricity essential for cooling

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been the target of strikes in recent weeks – Copyright Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies/AFP/File Handout

Nighttime shelling at the Zaporizhzhia power plant brought down the main power line, forcing operators to use diesel generators.

Even though the six reactors are shut down, Reuters reports, they still need a constant supply of electricity to keep the nuclear fuel inside cool and avert disaster.

And that the power supply, a 750 kilovolt line was cut around 1 a.m. Saturday local time, following further shelling.

“The resumption of bombing, hitting the plant’s only external power source, is extremely irresponsible,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement.

Grossi traveled to Kyiv on Thursday. He said he would soon travel to Russia, then make another trip to Ukraine, to continue his efforts to establish a “nuclear protection and safety zone” around the plant, which he has been advocating for weeks. .

“It is an absolute and urgent imperative,” he said. The IAEA did not blame the bombing.

Readers will recall that Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for bombing the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant which damaged buildings and threatened a catastrophic nuclear accident.

Speaking on BBC World News on Saturday, Petro Kotin, the head of Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom, warned that diesel generators currently had only a limited supply of fuel.

“If (the generators) run out of fuel, after that they will shut down, and after that there will be a disaster…there will be a meltdown of the active core and a release of radioactivity from there,” he said. Kotin said.

Zaporizhzhia is one of four regions Russian President Vladimir Putin has annexed in violation of international law. The plant has been under Russian control for months, however, the city of Zaporizhzhia remains under Ukrainian control.

On October 5, President Putin ordered his government to take control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Later, he signed an executive order declaring the plant “federal property”.

“The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is now on the territory of the Russian Federation and, therefore, should be operated under the supervision of our competent agencies,” RIA news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei as saying. Vershinine.