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15 Days To Prevent Disaster: Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Running On Backup Generator

The reactors need constant power to prevent disaster. Only 15 days worth of fuel remain.

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockNov 3 2022, 17:13 UTC
Two cooling towers at a nuclear power plant.
The plant has been cut off entirely from the grid. Image credit: Ihor Bondarenko/shutterstock.com

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been fully cut off from the power grid following shelling by Russian forces, leaving it to rely on backup diesel generators, according to the Ukrainian State Enterprise National Nuclear Energy Generating Company "Energoatom".

The company said that the last lines connecting the power station to the grid were damaged during shelling on Wednesday, according to Reuters. All six reactors had been shut down prior to the final line being hit, but they all still need a constant power supply in order to prevent disaster.

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"Yesterday [...] the Zaporizhzhia [nuclear power plant's] last two high-voltage lines connecting it to Ukrainian power system were damaged. At 11:04 p.m., the station went into full blackout mode. All 20 diesel generators were switched on," Energoatom said in a Telegram statement seen by Reuters. 

"In the near future, they (Russia) will try to repair and connect the communication lines of the [Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant] in the direction of temporarily occupied Crimea and Donbas".

The power plant, which is under the control of the invading Russian army, had been running on emergency generators for the last two weeks, and now has only 15 days' worth of fuel to run the generators supplying power to the reactors. 

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Energoatom had previously accused Russia of deliberately targeting substations connected to Ukrainian power plants. 

"Such nuclear blackmail by a terrorist country should not go unanswered by the world community," Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said according to Yahoo! Finance, following a similar attack. "Ukraine needs protection of the skies above its energy facilities".

Energoatom believe that Russia now wants to connect the power plant to the Russian grid.


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