what do we know about the situation at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, which was disconnected from the power grid for several hours

the GIANT Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, hostage of war in Ukraine, is giving cold sweat to the international community. The largest power plant in Europe, located at Energodar, in the oblast (region) of Zaporizhia, in southern Ukraine, occupied by Russian troops since March. He found himself “completely cut off” of the Ukrainian electricity network, the Ukrainian public company Energoatom announced Thursday, August 25 on Telegram. However, supplying the plant with electricity is essential for cooling the six reactors.

energy atom, which operates Ukrainian power plants, is accused “the actions of the invaders” The Russians are responsible for this disconnect. “Russia is putting Ukrainians, like all Europeans, on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe”added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the evening.

The Ukrainian company finally announced, Friday August 26 on Telegram, that it was able to restore the site’s connection to the national electricity network. Franceinfo is back with this new heat stroke that feeds concerns about the site’s security.

Fire at the source of the outage, said the operator of the power plant

Typically, four power lines supply the plant. Three of them before “previously damaged by terrorist attacks” Russians, according to Energoatom. According toUkrainian operator, the last line was cut twice due to fires in the perimeter of the thermal power plant in Zaporizhya, which is located near the nuclear power plant. ACCORDING The worldthe main source of the fire is located 1.6 kilometers from reactor number 6.

The Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, where two of the six reactors are still operating, that’s it “completely cut off for the first time in its history” in the Ukrainian electricity network. However, the connection to the electricity grid is essential for nuclear safety. “Supplying the plant is needed to cool the reactors, but also the spent fuel storage pools in each of the six reactors”lined up for franceinfo Bruno Chareyron, nuclear physics engineer and laboratory director of Criirad, an association that warns of the dangers of nuclear energy.

A backup power supply that is activated in an emergency

On Thursday night, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was “announced in Ukraine” this disconnection. However, the plant remains “worked”lined up toIAEA. Zaporijjia actually remains supplied with electricity from “neighboring thermal power station that can provide emergency power”according to the agency.

The reactors’ emergency protection systems have been triggered and all safety systems remain operational, according to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi. “The units remain disconnected from the grid also after the restoration of the power line”he announced, without advancing the reasons for the power cut.

However, the situation worries the director of the IAEA. “Actually, there are emergency systems to do this. But cooling such a large installation with diesel generators, thinking about how many jerrycans of oil we need to make it work… It’s absolutely unimaginable”warned Rafael Grossi in an interview with world. “By narrowing safety and security margins, the risk of a serious accident increases”abundant in Bruno Chareyron.

The power plant is back on after repairs, according to Energoatom

Energoatom launched the repair on Friday morning to restore the connection to the electricity grid. Early in the afternoon, the operator announced that“one of the reactors (…) has been reconnected to the power grid”. This reactor “produces electricity for the needs of Ukraine” and “the rise of [sa] the power is in progress”. The second reactor that has been operating for the past few days has not yet been connected. The group also clarified that the equipment and security systems of this installation are functioning normally.

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of endangering the plant

The security of the plant, located near the front line, and the risk of a nuclear accident in the event of a bombing have worried international leaders since it passed into the hands of Russian forces in early March. . More so in recent weeks. Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of multiple bombings targeting the site.

Ukraine has also accused Russia of storing heavy weapons at the site and using it as a base for strikes on Ukrainian military positions. The Russians deny that they have deployed such weapons there, claiming that there are only units there to ensure its security. Russia in turn has accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out drone attacks there.

IAEA inspection mission expected “next week”

After this new incident at the plant, the international community raised their voice again. American diplomacy warns that any attempt by Russia to hijack Ukraine’s nuclear energy “unacceptable”. “Civil nuclear power is not an instrument of war”, for his part pleaded, Friday, Emmanuel Macron. The UN has called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant to secure it and allow the sending of an international inspection mission.

An IAEA inspection mission is expected at the site “next week”said Thursday night the adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Energy, Lana Zerkal. “Although the Russians agreed to the mission traveling to the territory of Ukraine, they artificially created obstacles so that the mission could not reach this facility”he instead accused.

“The question is whether the IAEA has the means to work effectively and in a full and transparent manner”asked Bruno Chareyron about BFM TV.

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