KYIV – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister has demanded the Russian forces to agree to a cease-fire to fix the Chernobyl power plant, which was disconnected from the grid amidst the war and is now sparking concerns about possible radioactive contamination.
“”Ukrenergo” reports that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is de-energized due to the actions of the #Russian military. The hostilities continue, making it impossible to repair work and restore power supply. The town of #Slavutich is also de-energized,” NEXTA Tweeted.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s National Nuclear Energy Generating Company reported that the, “750 kV Chernobyl-Kyiv high-voltage line is currently disconnected due to damage by the occupiers”. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant as well as all nuclear facilities, are without electricity at the moment.
The power outage puts Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and Europe at risk as the 20 tons of waste needs to be kept cool to prevent radiation from leaking.
“The entire power supply line of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and all its nuclear facilities controlled by the Russian Army has been damaged,” Dmytro Kuleba Tweeted.
“Chernobyl has lost power. I call on the entire international community to immediately call on Russia to cease fire and allow repair crews to restore the electricity supply as soon as possible,” the diesel generator can provide electricity for merely 48 hours after that, “the cooling system will stop making radiation leaks imminent.”
The power outage has also stopped the facility’s ventilation system, which puts the technical personnel working there to maintain the facility at risk.
“The fire extinguishing system is down, posing a dangerous risk if missiles were to strike the plant. Fighting is currently underway, making it impossible to carry out repairs and restore power,” said EnergoAtom. Slavutych, a city in northern Ukraine, is also currently facing power outage.
Ukraine has immediately reported to The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the power outage. Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said, “The development violated a key safety pillar on ensuring uninterrupted power supply, the IAEA does not see a critical impact on safety”.
On Tuesday, IAEA warned that the same shift of workers has been on duty at the Chernobyl plant since Russia captured the site, and the shift needs to be rotated on an immediate basis.
“[Ukraine] asked the IAEA to lead the international support needed to prepare a plan for replacing the current personnel and for providing the facility with an effective rotation system,” said IAEA in a brief statement.
Last week, the Russian military captured another nuclear plant located in Zaporizhzhia. It is the largest plant in Europe, producing one-fifth of Ukraine’s electricity. Due to the critical situation in Zaporizhzhia, the UN called its incident and emergency centers for emergency support in the Ukraine region.