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Fire disconnects Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from Ukrainian power grid

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Central nuclear de  Zaporizhzhia, ao sul da Ucrânia, foi tomada pelos russos em março.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, in southern Ukraine, was taken over by the Russians in March.| Photo: EFE/EPA

A fire started this Thursday (17) the disconnection of the last line that linked the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to Ukraine’s electrical system, according to a statement from the state energy company Energoatom.

Three other lines had already been damaged by actions that the company described as “terrorist attacks”.

“The actions of the invaders led to a complete disconnection of the ZNPP (Zaporizhzhia plant) from the electricity grid, the first in the plant’s history”, says the official note.

The nuclear power plant is the stage for military actions whose authorship both Russia and Ukraine blame each other. The situation raised serious concerns about the danger that clashes could lead to an atomic incident with unforeseen consequences.

The Energoatom statement was released shortly after the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, stated in Paris that there is a principle agreement with Ukraine and Russia for the entity to carry out an on-site inspection “in the coming days”.

The Russian army has controlled the plant – the largest of its kind in Europe – since March, but Ukrainian operators continue to work on it amid to bombings.

Grossi expects to lead the mission, which will involve a series of technical experts to make repairs, restore damaged transmission systems and ensure an ongoing agency presence to help stabilize the plant where, according to him, the risks of a t ragedia “they are real”.

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