According to reports, Russian forces have shut down the Chernobyl nuclear power plant station by disconnecting it from Ukraine’s power grid. The move has sparked concerns that nuclear materials at the site could begin cooling.
“Because of military actions of Russian occupiers the nuclear power plant in Chornobyl was fully disconnected from the power grid. The nuclear station has no power supply,”the state-run grid operator Ukrenergo wrote on Telegram.
In a tweet, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the international community “to urgently demand Russia to cease fire and allow repair units to restore power supply,” adding that reserve diesel generators had only 48 hours-worth of power.
“After that, cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent,” he said.
From US News:
But the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on Wednesday said that it “sees no critical impact on safety,” noting that the plant has a sufficient volume of cooling water to control temperatures without electricity.
And an analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy concurred that “the loss of power does not pose a near-term risk of radiological release,” according to the head of the agency.
Still, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that the development “violates [a] key safety pillar on ensuring uninterrupted power supply.”
And it’s not the only developing problem at the nuclear plant. The watchdog announced on Tuesday that it lost data transmissions from safety monitoring systems at Chernobyl.