The last line of communication between the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the Ukrainian power system was cut off as a result of Russian attacks early in the morning on March 9, Ukraine's nuclear energy company Energoatom said.
According to Energoatom, the plant has gone into blackout mode for the sixth time since being occupied by Russian troops in March 2022.
The plant's fifth and sixth reactors are currently in a cold shutdown, meaning their temperature is below boiling point and electrical water pumps must keep working to cool the fuel and avoid a nuclear meltdown. In order to do so, a reliable external power supply is needed, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Reuters earlier reported.
Eighteen diesel generators have been switched on to power the plant's needs, but the fuel in the generators will only last for 10 days, Energoatom said.
Since Russian forces occupied the plant, they have used it as a military base from which to launch attacks at Ukrainian-controlled territory across the Dnipro River.
Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on March 5 that negotiations to bring the plant back under Ukrainian control reached a “dead end,” and the situation at the plant is “significantly deteriorating.”