The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) intends to transition a second reactor into hot shutdown, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Oct. 13.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said authorities at the plant informed the agency they were beginning to move reactor 5 from cold to hot shutdown in order to provide warm water and heating for Enerhodar ahead of the winter season.
Previously, only one unit, reactor 4, was in hot shutdown mode. The IAEA has said that for safety purposes, all units at the nuclear plant should be kept in cold shutdown.
The agency has strongly recommended that the ZNPP find an external source of steam generation. The IAEA experts were told that the plant is looking into purchasing an external steam generator, but that "installation of this equipment is not expected until the first part of 2024, possibly not until after the end of the heating season."
Occupying authorities at the plant did not tell IAEA inspectors how long unit 5 would remain in hot shutdown. They also said there were no plans to transfer addition units from cold to hot shutdown.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, has been under Russian occupation since March 2022.
IAEA teams have been based at the facility on rotation since September 2022.
Grossi has warned that active fighting near the occupied plant poses serious threats to nuclear safety, and has reported that Russian authorities still deny IAEA experts full access to the plant's units.