The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which was occupied by Russian troops, has again been shut down, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "The Zaporizhia NPP again lost connection to its last remaining external main power line, but the plant continues to supply power to the grid via the backup line, the IAEA was told on site today," the agency tweeted on Saturday. The incident happened less than 48 hours after IAEA chief Rafael Grossi reached the nuclear power plant.
The plant management also announced that one of the two operating units of the nuclear power plant was disconnected from the grid due to grid restrictions. One reactor is still operational and producing electricity for both cooling and other important on-site safety functions, as well as for the power grid, it said. According to the IAEA report, the nuclear power plant originally had a total of four main power lines. Three of them had been cut off "earlier during the conflict".
The power line cut — which was also temporarily cut on Aug. 25 — followed renewed shelling in the area, Ukraine separately told the IAEA, a release said. In recent weeks, the area around the nuclear facility has been repeatedly shelled, raising fears of a nuclear disaster similar to that in Chernobyl in 1986.
Ukraine also accuses Russia of storing heavy weapons on the nuclear site and using it as a base for attacks on Ukrainian positions. Moscow denies this and assures that the soldiers stationed in the nuclear facility are only responsible for securing the nuclear power plant.