Reactor no. 4 of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was “cold-shutdown” after a water leak was detected in one of the steam generators, with no radioactive emissions found. The announcement was made on Thursday evening by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The nuclear plant is currently under the occupation of the invading Russian troops.
“The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant will place unit no. 4 in the state of “cold shutdown” in order to establish the exact cause of the water leak and to carry out the work to repair the affected steam generator”, the IAEA stated in a statement, which has a team of inspectors at the plant.
The IAEA informed that reactor no. 6 will be put into a “warm shutdown” state in the coming days to produce steam, used for various safety operations such as liquid nuclear waste processing.
Ukraine’s nuclear regulator has issued instructions for all reactors to operate in “cold shutdown” mode, so the change from unit no. 6 would violate this provision.
The IAEA insisted on Thursday that the safest option would be to install external steam generation equipment.
Meanwhile, the Vienna-based UN agency confirmed that the plant’s main electricity supply line had been disconnected on Thursday and that the plant had to resort to a backup connection without having to use emergency generators. as has happened several times in the past.
“The repeated power outages highlight the persistent and precarious situation of the plant’s nuclear security and protection,” warned the general director of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi.
The IAEA also noted that no mines or explosives were observed in new locations during last week’s inspection visits, but confirmed the existence of such devices in locations where they were already detected on July 23.
Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the IAEA has called for the creation of a security zone around this plant to avoid the risks of nuclear accidents. The situation related to the security of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia is all the more worrying, since it was located in the area targeted by the current Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Editor: Adrian Dumitru