Zaporizhzhia NPP again disconnected from power line, facing blackout
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which is temporarily occupied by Russia, has been disconnected from the main high-voltage line and may face a blackout, Ukraine’s state nuclear company, Energoatom, said in a statement.
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Power engineers at the Zaporizhzhia NPP reported overnight on Thursday that the plant had lost power from the 750-kilovolt external transmission line and had to be switched to the only available 330-kV backup line.
Its disconnection may render the only source of external power for the Zaporizhzhia NPP unavailable, putting at risk the plant’s nuclear and radiation safety — especially power unit 4, which is in hot shutdown.
Energoatom’s acting director Taras Tkach said that in case of a complete loss of external power, the main circulation pumps will be turned off and the power unit will switch to the ‘natural circulation’ mode.
"In this case, it is necessary to urgently ‘cool it down’ in the absence of cooling pumps. Such a mode is difficult for the reactor installation, its duration is limited by the design, and it can lead to the failure of the main equipment of the power unit," she was quoted as saying.
The six-reactor complex, Europe's biggest nuclear plant, has been under occupation since shortly after Moscow's forces invaded last February.
In June, Ukraine warned Russia has mined the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in southeastern Ukraine. Kyiv has also repeatedly warned that Moscow might stage provocations on the plant.