Kyiv is flirting with disaster by bombing the hydroelectric plant that serves the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, local official says
The bombardment of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station by Ukrainian forces risks “nuclear catastrophe” at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Arseniy Zelensky, deputy director of the Kakhovka NPP for reconstruction, told reporters on Saturday.
According to Zelensky, quoted by TASS, Kakhovka now operates in a “very dangerous” emergency mode.
The Kakhovka plant is located in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, which was seized by Russian forces at the start of Moscow’s military operation. Along with the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, it was attacked by troops from kyiv – with the use of weapons supplied by the West – according to regional authorities.
“If there are problems with the dam at the Kakhovka hydropower plant, there will be big problems at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. [This] could lead to a nuclear catastrophe,” said the deputy director of the Kakhovka plant.
He explained to reporters that if the dam were destroyed, the nuclear facility would be deprived of the water needed to cool its reactors.
He revealed that the station was operating in emergency mode “since the first days of hostilities.
“The station’s own needs, 6 kV emergency, are lost, we are working in a very dangerous mode”, he said, adding that one of the turbines had to be shut down following the Ukrainian rocket attacks.
If military action ceases, Zelensky said, the plant can be “restored within a week.”
“Fortunately, the power station has not yet suffered major damage, except for the hydroelectric unit number three, which burned down in March, it takes 1.5 years to complete the work,” he said.
Zelensky’s remarks came the day after Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region, revealed that the town of Novaya Kakhovka had again been attacked by “Ukrainian Nationalists” but “no tangible damage” was caused. “The hydroelectric plant was not damaged”, he said.
On Thursday, Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council that a nuclear disaster could occur “at any moment” in the middle of the “reckless” bombing of the Zaporozhye factory by Kyiv forces.
“kyiv’s criminal attacks on nuclear infrastructure are pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear disaster that would rival that of Chernobyl,” said Nebenzia.
Responding to claims by kyiv that Russia was the one targeting the plant in an alleged plot to discredit Ukraine, the diplomat said Russia had no reason to target the facility or its own troops, and that multiple attacks on the facility have been documented from Ukraine. territory held in the Dnepropetrovsk region.
The US State Department, however, sided with kyiv by endorsing the demand for a demilitarized zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops who control the area.