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IAEA: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant reconnected to backup power line

by Dinara Khalilova July 3, 2023 10:03 PM 2 min read
A view of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine on March 29, 2023. (Photo by Andrey Borodulin / AFP via Getty Images)
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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been reconnected to its only available backup power line for the first time in four months, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on July 3.

Since early March, the plant has relied only on a single main power line for external electricity needed for reactor cooling and other critical nuclear safety functions. The backup line is now energized and ready to feed the station should the primary line become unavailable or damaged.

The 330 kilovolt (kV) backup power line was cut on March 1 due to damage on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River and restored on July 1, the IAEA wrote. Before Russia's full-scale war, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant had six backup lines and four main lines of 750 kV.

"While the reconnection of the backup power line is positive, the plant's external power situation remains highly vulnerable, underlining the precarious nuclear safety and security situation at the site," said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi.

Ukrainian authorities start training to prepare for possible Russian attack on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
Large-scale special exercises have begun in Ukraine to prepare for a potential Russian attack at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the state nuclear energy agency Energoatom reported on June 29.

Russian forces have occupied the Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, since March 2022. Throughout the all-out war, the plant has been fully disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid seven times due to Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure.

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.

According to the exiled mayor of the satellite city of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, about 100 employees of the Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom as well as several Ukrainian collaborators, had left the occupied station as of July 2.

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