Ukraine's nuclear plant regains power supply after 2nd cut in a week
The external power supply at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station was restored on Wednesday, hours after it was cut for the second time in five days on Wednesday, according to an update from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The latest: "I've been informed by our team on site that external power to #Zaporizhzhya NPP is restored," IAEA chief Rafael Grossi tweeted.
- "#ZNPP's operator says this morning's outage was caused by shelling damage to a far off sub-station, highlighting how precarious the situation is. We need a protection zone ASAP," he added.
Why it matters: The loss of the external power supply forced the plant to once again rely on its emergency diesel generators for necessary safety and security operations, such as reactor cooling.
State of play: The development came a day after Grossi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.
- The plant has been in a cold shutdown for the past month after intermittent shelling — for which Russia and Ukraine blame each other — has sparked international outcry and fears of a nuclear disaster.
- During their meeting, Putin expressed his concern over the situation at the Zaporizhzhia plant while Grossi maintained that he is working towards avoiding a nuclear accident, the New York Times reported.
- Following his trip to Russia, Grossi is heading back to Ukraine.
What they're saying: "Our team at #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant informed me this morning that the plant has lost all of its external power for the 2nd time in five days," Grossi tweeted.
- "This repeated loss of #ZNPP’s off-site power is a deeply worrying development and it underlines the urgent need for a nuclear safety & security protection zone around the site," he added.
- "Russian nuclear roulette is once again testing the strength of our nuclear workers. The station is in blackout, it works on diesel generators," Herman Galushchenko, Ukraine’s energy minister, said in statement on Telegram by Energoatom, Ukraine's nuclear power operator.
- "The world — especially Europe — needs the urgent de-occupation and demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia station, which is now de-energized again, which could lead to a nuclear disaster," Galushchenko added.
The big picture: The Zaporizhzhia plant's external power supply was cut by shelling last Saturday, forcing the plant to rely on diesel generators.
- The generators had enough fuel to maintain operations for 10 days, Grossi warned in a statement at the time.
- The external power supply was restored on Sunday.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.