What led to verge of a Nuclear Accident? On Saturday, Ukraine revealed that during the night, two power lines linking its electricity grid to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant were deliberately severed, elevating the risk of a potential “nuclear accident” at the facility. The Zaporizhzhia plant has been a focal point of conflict since it fell into the hands of Russian forces the previous year, with both sides trading accusations of compromising its safety.
In response to the complete blackout, Ukraine’s nuclear energy operator conveyed in a statement that the nuclear power plant had to resort to utilizing its own resources, specifically 20 diesel generators.
The situation escalated to the point where the plant was teetering “on the verge of a nuclear and radiation accident” until external power was reinstated from Kyiv.
The nuclear operator attributed the prevention of a potential catastrophe to the swift actions of Ukrainian specialists who managed to restore power supply from the national grid.
Is Nuclear Accident likely at Zaporizhzhia Plant in Ukraine?
However, the accuracy of Ukraine’s account of events could not be immediately verified by AFP. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Saturday that the Zaporizhzhia plant had experienced a temporary loss of off-site power overnight, marking the eighth such blackout since the onset of the conflict. The IAEA announced its intention to furnish additional details at a later time.
IAEA officials have been vigilantly monitoring the safety conditions at the Zaporizhzhia plant, emphasizing the constant need for maintenance to prevent overheating and likely nuclear accident.
The six-reactor facility has endured repeated shelling and drone attacks over the course of the 21-month conflict, leading to a cessation of its electricity supply to Ukraine’s grid in September 2022.
The situation remains precarious, underscoring the ongoing challenges in safeguarding the integrity of the nuclear facility amidst the persisting conflict.