Ukraine has lost connection with Chernobyl, says IAEA

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IAEA further revealed that the maintenance activities at Unit 1 had also been reduced to minimum levels…reports Asian Lite News

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday that Ukraine had lost all communication with the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), a day after the Russian-controlled site lost all external power supplies, IAEA reported on Thursday. The agency has also informed that they are aware of reports that power has now been restored to the site and it is looking for confirmation, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Earlier, Ukraine authorities have reported to the IAEA that emergency diesel generators that were providing electricity to the Chernobyl NPP had subsequently lost communication which meant that the regulator could no longer provide updated information such as radiation monitoring, ventilation systems and normal lighting related to the site to the IAEA.

Taking to Twitter, IAEA said, “If emergency power were lost, it would still be possible for #Chornobyl staff to monitor the water level and temperature of the spent fuel pool. They would do this under worsening radiation safety conditions and would not be able to follow operational radiation safety procedures.”

IAEA also informed that Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya NPP which is also under the control of Russian forces is not in a position to deliver the necessary spare parts, equipment and specialized personnel to carry out planned repairs.

IAEA further revealed that the maintenance activities at Unit 1 had also been reduced to minimum levels. On March 3, Ukraine informed the IAEA that the Russian forces had taken the control of the site of the country’s Zaporizhzhya NPP. Ukrainian counterparts informed the IAEA that the projectile had hit a training building in the vicinity of one of the plant’s reactor units, causing a localized fire that was later extinguished.

Situation dangerous

Ukraine’s Presidential Office on Thursday warned that the situation at Chernobyl was “very dangerous” after an emergency power outage was reported at the now-defunct nuclear power plant.
“The situation in Chernobyl is overall very dangerous. It is critical that certain elements of the plant receive a consistent supply of electricity,” the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper quoted presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak as saying.

The adviser warned that since “these elements have been cut off from stable access to power”, it posed a “threat to the whole of Europe. And, of course, to Russia itself”.

Podolyak added that not only has the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stopped receiving crucial data from the safety monitoring system, no one currently understood what was going on at the Chernobyl power plant.

According to the presidential advisor, Russia is targeting the nuclear plants in Ukraine to “subdue its neighbours”. According to Ukrenergo, the state energy company of Ukraine, the plant suffered the power outage on Wednesday due to which on site emergency diesel generators were turned on to provide power systems important for safety.
The company said that the supply of diesel fuel on diesel generators will be enough for 48 hours.

It added that repair work to restore the energy supply was impossible due to Russian combat operations in the region. Although operations stopped at the plant after the catastrophic nuclear disaster in 1986, Chernobyl was never fully abandoned and still requires constant management, the BBC said, adding that spent nuclear fuel is cooled at the site.

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