The United Nations watchdog says that The Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine has lost its link to its last remaining main power line. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) added that the plant, Europe’s largest, is now relying on a reserve line to supply power to Ukraine’s grid. The United Nations showed concern over the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
United Nations Concerns over Nuclear plant:
Separately, Ukraine’s state nuclear company said only one of the station’s six reactors now remains in operation. Both Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of repeatedly shelling the plant. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived at the nuclear plant on Thursday amid security concerns.
After inspecting it, the agency’s chief Rafael Grossi said the integrity of the plant had been “violated several times”. Located in the city of Enerhodar in southern Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is still being operated by Ukrainian staff. They have said Russian troops are using it as a military base and that workers are in effect held at gunpoint.
The IAEA said in its statement that its presence at the plant was a “game-changer” as it had received fast and reliable information about the latest development. “The agency’s experts were told by senior Ukrainian staff that the [Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s] fourth operational 750 Kilovolt (kV) power line was down,” it said.
“The three others were lost earlier during the conflict.” However, a 330/750 kV reserve line was delivering energy to the grid and could provide power to the plant if necessary, it added. The IAEA noted that the main power line was also temporarily disconnected on 25 August.
Meanwhile, Russian-appointed local officials said the latest cut was caused by “technical problems” resulting from shelling. Separately, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power operator Enerhoatom said that the plant’s reactor number five had to be switched off from the grid due to “non-stop shelling by occupying Russian forces”. Russia has not commented on the statement.
In yet another development, the Russian defense ministry said it had thwarted an attempt on Friday evening by Ukrainian armed forces to seize the plant. It provided no evidence to back up its claim, which has not been verified.
United Nations experts inspection:
Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that around eight to 12 inspectors would stay on, while Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said five inspectors would stay. The inspectors hope to assess the state of the plant and talk to Ukrainian workers under Russian control.
Mr. Grossi said that battles taking place near the plant were “not going to stop” the inspection. “There were moments where the fire was obvious, heavy machine gun, artillery mortars, at two or three times [it was] really very concerning, I would say, for all of us,” he said. Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, expressed his optimism that the inspectors would “draw objective findings” during his nightly speech, but he bemoaned the absence of foreign journalists from the mission.
He continued, “We have good evidence that Russia engaged in a number of unscrupulous actions to mislead the mission. “The occupants compelled people to give false information to IAEA representatives — to sign documents and give false testimony.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff said that Russia was attempting to “wreck” the mission by shelling both the facility and the nearby, Moscow-controlled town of Enerhodar.
In response to growing concerns of a plant catastrophe, the EU is providing Ukraine with more than five million anti-radiation medicines.
The plant has sustained some damage as a result of recent fighting in the neighborhood, although radiation levels in the region have not yet been observed to rise.
Russia Ukraine War:
The Zaporizhzhia plant is under Russian occupation and has recently come under fire, with both sides blaming each other for the attacks. In some areas, officials are already handing out the pills, which can stop the body from absorbing radioactive iodine.
Residents have been told only to take it if a radiation leak is confirmed. So far, only people living within 50km (30 miles) of the power plant are being offered the potassium iodide tablets, but the European Union is providing Ukraine with more than five million doses which would allow for much wider distribution.
While recent fighting in the area has caused some damage to the plant, so far there has not been any recorded increase in radiation levels in the area. Nevertheless, officials are concerned further damage could cause a radiation leak, which could spread over a large area.
The United Nation’s nuclear agency has been demanding access to the facility for several months, and a team has arrived in Ukraine in the hope of finally being allowed to inspect the site in the coming days.
As reported by the media team of the Youth Diplomacy Forum.