Status of Seized Nuclear Plants

by Olha Povaliaieva
Friday, March 18, 2022
Status of Seized Nuclear Plants

A new wave of danger at Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power stations

For more than two weeks, two Ukrainian nuclear facilities have been under the control of Russian troops. The occupiers have established a military base in Chernobyl. In Zaporizhzhya, they also set up a camp and intend to loot Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military cannot conduct active operations in these territories because of the nuclear danger. In addition, the approaches to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant are closed — the Russian military laid mines near the facility — on the shore of the Kahovka reservoir.

Last week, the Russian atomic energy corporation Rosatom announced a new principle for the operation of the stations. They claim to divert energy to the occupied Crimea and Donbas. According to Ukrainian experts, it is impossible to do this safely. At the same time, Ukrainian specialists still work at the stations. More than 100 people control nuclear safety at gunpoint, without rest for 22 days. It should be noted that concentration and good rest are necessary elements for the prevention of nuclear catastrophe.

But despite the efforts of Ukrainian specialists to control the work of nuclear plants, a new danger appeared on March 17.

"The actions of Russian militants on nuclear facilities of Ukraine threaten the ecological tragedy for the whole Europe. Yesterday, as a result of the hostile shooting, the high-voltage transmission line of the Zaporizhia NPP 750 kV was damaged, through which the electricity is supplied from the nuclear power plant. At present, only one of the four high-voltage working lines remained. Therefore, the capacity of two operating power units of the Zaporizhia NPP was reduced. It is not possible to repair the line, as active combat actions continue in the damage zone. The situation is deteriorating and the station’s capacity is decreasing. There is a great risk of complete exhaustion. If this happens, the consequences will be more serious than at the Chornobyl NPP, because in Energodar there are 6 reactors, and all of them should be cooled, and 6 pools, which also need to be cooled. That is why it is necessary to restore the electricity line to provide a substantial reserve," said Lyudmila Denisova, the authorized representative of the Ukrainian parliament for human rights.

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