Water drops after Nova Kakhovka dam breach, threatening Zaporizhzhia NPP
The water level in the Kakhovka reservoir is dropping after Russia blew up the Nova Kakhovka dam overnight on Tuesday, posing further threat to the safety at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.
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According to Ukraine’s Kakhovka disaster relief centre, the water level in the Kakhovka reservoir after the dam was blown has downed by about 2.8 metres and now stands at 14.03 metres.
"The rate of water level decline has slowed down somewhat and is now up to 5 to 7 centimetres per hour", the statement read.
Should the level drop below 12.7 metres, the Zaporizhzhia NPP will not be able to pump water for the cooling system to its technical site, the disaster relief centre warns.
While it is not yet possible to predict when this might happen, as the full extent of the dam's damage remains unknown, the critical level is expected to be reached in the next 48 hours at this rate.
The Ukrainian personnel of the Zaporizhzhia plant, which has been operating under Russian occupation since last year, is working to ensure the maximum water reserve for the cooling system, International Agency for Atomic Energy’s chief Rafael Grossi said earlier.
Mr Grossi is expected to visit the ZNPP next week to assess the situation.
Russia blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant overnight on Tuesday, leading to the breach of the dam and unleashing floodwater across the downstream area.
Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated so far from Ukrainian-controlled territory on the right bank of the Dnipro river, with more than 20 settlements submerged in water.