Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant may be on fire
Published March 3, 2022 5:09 PM
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Fire breaks out at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, mayor sayshttps://kesq.com/news/2022/03/03/fire-breaks-out-at-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-power-plant-in-ukraine-mayor-says/ By Simone McCarthy, CNNThe Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine is on fire, according to Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of the nearby town of Energodar.“A threat to world security!!! As a result of relentless shelling by the enemy of the buildings and blocks of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire!!!” Orlov posted to Facebook.Firefighters were unable to reach the fire at the nuclear power plant, according to Orlov.“The Zaporizhzhia Power Plant is notifying of a threat at the first block of the power plant! The fire at the plant is continuing. The firefighters cannot reach the location of the fire,” he posted.Earlier the mayor said in a Facebook post: “Intense fighting is ongoing on approach routes to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Our National Guard fighters are defending. There are victims, but the exact number and condition so far cannot be determined under the circumstances.”
Ukrainian counterparts informed the IAEA that a projectile overnight had hit a training building in the vicinity of one of the plant’s reactor units, causing a localized fire that was later extinguished.
The safety systems of the plant’s six reactors had not been affected and there has been no release of radioactive material.
Radiation monitoring systems at the site are fully functional.
However, the operator has reported that the situation remains very challenging and therefore it has not yet been possible to access the whole site to assess that all safety systems are fully functional.Of the plant’s reactor units, Unit 1 is shut down for maintenance, Units 2 and 3 have undergone a controlled shut down, Unit 4 is operating at 60 percent power and Units 5 and 6 are being held “in reserve” in low power mode.
Two people were reported injured.
Ukraine’s nuclear regulator told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today it had been able to maintain communications with staff at the Zaporizhhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) where two out of six reactors were now operating, a day after Russian forces took control of the site in the country’s south-east, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
In regular updates to the IAEA, the Ukrainian regulatory authority and the plant management also confirmed that the technical safety systems were intact and radiation levels remained normal at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant. One telephone communication line had been lost but another was still functioning, as was mobile phone communication.
The safety systems of Ukraine’s three other nuclear power plants were operating and the regulator continued to receive online monitoring data regarding radiation levels at the sites, which were also as usual. Six of their combined total of nine reactors were currently operating, the regulator said.
Staff at the Chornobyl NPP – which is under the control of Russian forces since last week – have been on site since 23 February without being able to rotate the shift of technical personnel and guards, the regulator said.
Director General Grossi has repeatedly stressed the importance of staff operating Ukraine’s nuclear facilities being allowed to rest and rotate in order to be able to carry out their jobs safely and securely. He has also said that a “tense” situation with Russian forces controlling the Zaporizhhzhya NPP site and Ukrainian staff operating it “certainly cannot last for too long”. The head of the national operator Energoatom, Petro Kotin, informed the Director General on Friday that the plant was now allowed to change work shifts.
Source: Washington Post
By Praveena Somasundaram
The United Nations nuclear chief warned of a potential “nuclear disaster” after shelling of Europe’s largest atomic power plant, once again urging Russia and Ukraine to allow a mission of experts access to the facility to help secure it.
The shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine highlights the potential for “catastrophic consequences” from attacks on and near the facility, Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a statement on Saturday.
“Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporizhzya nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs,” Grossi’s statement said.
After the shelling Friday, Russia and Ukraine placed blame on one another for the attack. The facility near the front lines of fighting, has been under Russian control since March, but it is still staffed by Ukrainians.
"A detailed plan has been drawn up by Russia to disconnect Europe’s largest nuclear plant from Ukraine’s power grid, risking a catastrophic failure of its cooling systems, the Guardian has been told."
"The plant’s electricity connections are already in a critical situation, with three of the four main lines connecting it to Ukraine’s grid broken during the war, and two of the three back-up lines connecting it to a conventional power plant also down.
Petro Kotin said he fears Russia is targeting lines connecting the Zaporizhzhia site to Ukraine’s power grid to make an ‘emergency switch’ scenario a reality. The Russian plan to disconnect it entirely would raise the risk of a catastrophic failure by leaving it dependent on a single source of electricity to cool the reactors."