The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed this Friday (26) that one of the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is again connected to Ukraine’s electricity grid and reiterated that expects to send “very soon”, in a matter of days, a mission to inspect the safety of the plant in loco.
In a statement, the director-general of the UN nuclear agency, Rafael Grossi, expressed relief at the re-establishment of the external power line in Zaporizhzhia.
However, he warned that recent power cuts at the largest nuclear power plant from Europe, controlled by Russian troops but operated by Ukrainian personnel, “made clear the potential vulnerability of a large nuclear power plant located in the middle of an active conflict zone.”
“I continue to maintain active and intensive consultations with all parties to organize and lead an IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant very soon, hopefully in the coming days,” he said. sse Grossi.
“As the sudden loss of the external power line demonstrated yesterday, the presence of the IAEA on site is urgently needed,” he added.
On the other hand, the statement by this body of the United Nations system in charge of guaranteeing the peaceful use of nuclear technology indicates that, according to information from Kiev, the plant continued “having access to external electrical energy for cooling and other safety functions”.
Ukraine reported that one of the six reactors was reconnected to the national grid, a day after the plant temporarily lost connection to a vital power line.
In addition, the statement specifies that emergency diesel generators were activated during this Thursday’s power cuts, in accordance with the plant’s safety requirements.
” The reserve line of 26 kilowatts remained connected and operational for all this time, Ukraine said,” the note detailed.
The IAEA recalls that power lines are not primarily used to power homes and factories, but that nuclear power plants also need a constant supply of electricity for their routine operations and to power the safety systems needed during an emergency or accident.
“If the external power line is lost (…) it is essential to have a backup power supply for the security systems, in order to avoid any accident with radiological consequences for people and the environment”, warned the IAEA communiqué.