Technical workers at the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine, now controlled by Russia, are facing “increasingly difficult conditions” as officials continue work to restore power supply to power plantAccording to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reported this Friday (11).
“Technicians began repairing damaged power lines earlier this week,” AEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said in a statement.
According to information transmitted by Ukraine’s nuclear regulator to the United Nations nuclear agency, one section has been repaired, but power is still inactive in the outlying area.
“Despite the difficult situation outside the nuclear plant, repair work will continue,” Grossi said.
Although emergency diesel generators are providing back-up power, “it is still important to fix power lines as soon as possible”, stressed the AIA Director General.
Despite the problems, the IAEA assures that there is no risk of a “serious impact” at the site, where radioactive waste management facilities, “since the amount of cooling water from the spent fuel facility is sufficient to remove the heat without the power supply.” “.
On the other hand, the agency expressed concern “about the availability of food stocks” for the 211 technicians and guards who have been at the factory since Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine more than two weeks ago, and “increasingly more are facing tough”.
In addition, the Ukrainian regulator has lost communication with the plant and cannot provide AIA with information about radiological control of the facility, although it continues to receive information about the situation “through senior officials of the plant”. Is. ,
Regarding the status of the nuclear plants operating in Ukraine, which has four, the regulator confirmed that eight out of fifteen reactors are still in operation, with two reactors still in operation. Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plantwith normal radiation levels.
Europe’s largest nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia has four high-voltage lines (750 kV) outside the plant, as well as an additional reserve.
Two of these lines were damaged in recent fighting in the area; So now the plant has two power lines at its disposal, plus one in reserve, where “work is also being done on the detection and disposal of unexploded ordnance found in its damaged training center”.
At this plant, Ukrainian workers operating the factory were on rotation according to the normal schedule, but, according to the regulator, “the presence of foreign forces in the area is affecting work morale and creating pressure”.
Additional damage was also reported at a new nuclear research facility in the city of Kharkiv. Since its nuclear material is “subcritical”, the IAEA considers that the damage “will have no radiological consequences”.
As far as the partial loss of transmission to the IAEA of remote data on nuclear materials and activities at nuclear power plants is concerned, the system is still out of service in Chernobyl and there are “intermittent problems” from the plant in southern Ukraine.
On the other hand, transmission from Zaporizhzhia was restored, as detailed by Aiea.