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Energoatom: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant again loses connection to its main power line

by Dinara Khalilova July 4, 2023 5:02 PM 2 min read
This photo taken on Sept. 11, 2022 shows a general view of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, amid the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. (STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
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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."

ISW: Russian forces remain unlikely to cause an intentional ‘accident’ at Zaporizhzhia plant
The Russian forces would not be able to control the consequences of an intentional radiological incident at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update on June 30.

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.

Mayor: Part of Rosatom employees leave Russian-occupied nuclear plant
About 100 employees of Russian nuclear monopoly Rosatom have left Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Russian-occupied town of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, the town’s mayor, said on July 2.
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