In the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian troops, the situation is getting worse every week, according to the head of the Ukrainian nuclear authorities. Among other things, the occupiers damaged the administration building, a training center and a block of the nuclear power plant, Petro Kotin told ZDF. They were storing equipment and trucks, creating a major fire hazard. "No one knows what's in those trucks."
At the same time, employees are under a lot of pressure. "Right now they are trying to pressure the staff to sign labor contracts with Russia," Kotin said. "The staff have the choice of either signing this contract or being beaten or tortured." About 100 people were arrested, and no one knows what happened to the others. People are forbidden to leave the area.
Artillery shells have repeatedly fallen on the terrain in and around the power plant, with both sides blaming each other for the shelling. In shuttle diplomacy between Russia and Ukraine, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi is attempting to set up a security zone around the nuclear power plant without fighting.
According to Kotin, a possible reactor accident is still close. "We've been in close proximity to this reactor accident three times," Kotin said. This is because the nuclear power plant is dependent on the power supply. If the cooling is stopped, a kind of melting occurs. He compared the danger to the Fukushima case, when the tsunami cut off the power supply. "The meltdown began within three hours."
All six blocks are currently shut down. In the past few days, the plant's own generators had had to step in twice because both the last remaining main line from the outside and the reserve line failed. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Friday that the nuclear power plant had been reconnected to a backup power line.