Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is being shut down, operator says – POLITICO

The last reactor in operation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine has been completely shut down and disconnected from the network, the Ukrainian operator Energoatom announced on Sunday.

“Arrangements for its cooling and transfer to a cold state are underway,” Energoatom said, adding that in recent days the plant’s sixth – and last reactor in operation – has been supplying exclusively the facility’s internal needs because “All transmission lines connecting the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant to the Ukrainian power system were damaged due to Russian bombing.”

The UN’s nuclear watchdog had warned on Friday that it could happen following renewed bombings around the nuclear facility – Europe’s largest. Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it was “absolutely imperative” to create “a nuclear security safety and protection zone” around the site, stressing that a nuclear plant “can never be a pawn”. of war.”

The facility was seized by Russian forces in March but continued to be operated by Ukrainian personnel.

Energoatom said the plant’s internal needs “will be powered by diesel generators, the lifespan of which is limited by the technological resource and the amount of diesel fuel available.” The operator added that it was taking “all possible steps to arrange for the supply of additional batches of diesel” to the facility.

“In order to avoid an emergency situation at the power plant, it is necessary to stop the Russian bombardment of the transmission lines connecting the ZNNP to the power system and to establish a demilitarized zone around it,” said Energyatom.

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