Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine disconnected from power grid: State energy operator

Russian soldier

Russian soldier guarding The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (File image)

Photo : AP

Kyiv: The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was disconnected from the national power supply on Thursday, said the state energy operator, Energoatom. Notably, the nuclear facility has been under the control of Russian forces since March this year.

Energoatom confirmed the development through its Telegram handle. “The actions of the invaders caused a complete disconnection of the (Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant) from the power grid — the first in the history of the plant,” said the state energy operator.

As per Energoatom, fires erupted in the ash pits of a coal power station near the Zaporizhzhia reactor complex. “As a result, the station’s two working power units were disconnected from the network,” said the state energy operator as reported by Reuters.

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Energoatom blamed Russian forces for the fire. The Zaporizhzhia plant is the largest nuclear facility in Europe. It supplied more than 20 percent of Ukraine‘s electricity needs. Russia captured the on March 4, days after invading Ukraine.

However, the plant is still being operated by Ukrainian staff. As per Energoatom, the plant was still being supplied with power through a final power line between the plant and the coal power station.

Notably, both Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling the nuclear plant. On Thursday Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant with his French counterpart over the phone.

The United Nations expressed grave concerns over the situation at the nuclear power plant. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to allow independent inspectors to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.