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Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant again lost connection to its main external power line overnight on July 4, reported Ukraine's state nuclear energy agency Energoatom.
The plant then switched to the only available backup line, which was recently reconnected after four months of being inactive.
The 330 kilovolt (kV) backup power line was cut on March 1 due to damage on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River. From that day to July 1, the plant relied exclusively on the main power line for external electricity needed for reactor cooling and other critical functions.
The backup line can now feed the station should the primary line become unavailable or damaged. Before Russia's full-scale war, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant had six backup lines and four main lines of 750 kV.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 's chief Rafael Grossi said on July 3 that while the restoration of the last backup line was positive, the plant's external power situation "remains highly vulnerable."
Russian forces have occupied the Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, since March 2022. They have used it as a military base to launch attacks at Ukrainian-controlled territory across the Dnipro River.
Due to Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure, the plant has been fully disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid several times, having to resort to diesel generators.
On June 20, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced, citing intelligence data, that Moscow was considering a terrorist attack on the nuclear power plant through radiation leakage.
Several days later, Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told the New Stateman that Russia had completed preparations for the attack.
On July 1, Zelensky told Spanish reporters that another possibility was that Russian troops could give back the station under Ukrainian control after having mined it, only to blow it up remotely.