Engineers restored external power to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant on Oct. 9, a day after the facility lost connection to its last remaining operating power line due to shelling, forcing the plant to switch on its emergency generators, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement.
"After the repair work was successfully completed, the 750-kilovolt line was reconnected to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in the evening, enabling it to start switching off the emergency diesel generators that had provided it with backup electricity since the connection was cut early on Saturday," Grossi said.
Ukraine’s state nuclear operator Energoatom reported on Oct. 8 that overnight shelling had cut power to the nuclear plant, which requires cooling to avoid a meltdown, forcing it to resort to its emergency generators.
After the power was cut, Energoatom head Petro Kotin told the BBC that the diesel generators have a limited supply of fuel. “If (the generators) run out of fuel, after that they will stop, and after that, there will be a disaster… there will be a melting of the active core and a release of radioactivity from there,” Kotin said.
The nuclear power plant's six reactors are currently in a "cold shutdown" but still require power for cooling and other essential nuclear safety and security operations.
Russia has occupied the plant since early March and has been using it as a base to launch attacks on Ukraine.
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